Coping with Grief
Grief Awareness Week, taking place December 2-7, 2021, works to normalise grief by providing support and advice. Grief can manifest in different ways and by providing holistic support from the beginning, we can work towards a world in which we don't walk past people in the street because we 'don't know what to say'. Keep reading for some myth-busting and general advice on how to support someone who is grieving.
How long will someone grieve for?
Grief has no definitive timeline; 'getting over it' or 'moving on' are dangerous myths that can stop someone seeking support further down the line. The support you offer mustn't end just because you feel someone should be over the death of loved one—bereavement can affect someone for their whole lifetime.
Supporting someone who is grieving
There are many ways you can support someone who is grieving. Often just being there is enough. Calling to suggest going for a walk, meeting for a coffee, or just stopping for a chat are all valuable methods of support.
The grieving process
It's difficult to predict how an individual will cope with grief, as it manifests itself in numerous ways. Opening the lines of communication with someone who is bereaved will help you recognise if they need help. Shock, denial, disbelief, anxiety, depression, confusion and hostility are all normal parts of the grieving process. If you feel a friend or family member is overwhelmed, pointing them in the direction of support services can help them seek the support they may need.
Where to get help and support for grief
If you, or someone close to you, is having trouble dealing with a loss, there are many organisations that can help. The following provide resources and support for people dealing with grief:
National Grief Awareness Week
National Grief Awareness Week runs from 2nd to 7th December and aims to raise awareness of the impact of grief, unifying support services, raising funds, and reducing the postcode lottery. Find out more here.