Grieving and Living with Loss
I will not insult you by trying to tell you that one day you will forget. I know as well as you that you will not. But, at least, in time you will not remember as fiercely as you do now- and I pray that time will be soon.
Living with the gap
One of the only things that is certain in life is that people we love will die and we will die. Death is part of life and sooner or later we all have to face the loss of someone close to us and live with the gap which that death creates in our lives.
There is no magical cure for grief because the one thing we may want back we cannot have.
Grief can be a gift
Grief can be a gift to us enabling us to remember with joy and laughter those whom we have known and loved. But the wounds of grief can easily be reopened and the pain of parting just as raw as at the beginning.
We all grieve differently
Grief is a very personal process, people can and do grieve differently. Just because someone is not emotional does not mean that they are not feeling pain.
At times, you may need company and to talk about the person who died, at other times you may need to be left alone.
Feelings people can experience when they grieve
Not everyone will feel all these emotions and emotions will differ from moment to moment or day to day, depending on your personality and situation. These are some common feelings that people may experience:
Shock Your body’s protection mechanism kicks in to protect you from being completely overwhelmed by the devastating news you have received.
“It felt like an enormous primal scream stuck in my throat that I couldn’t release but wouldn’t let me take in the air I needed to breath.”
Disbelief The finality of death takes time to sink in.
“I just wanted to focus on how going things were at the moment so I wouldn’t have to deal with the pain that was beneath the surface.”
Anger Anger is a natural feeling when life does not go according to plan. What we do with that anger can be detrimental. Anger can be:
- at yourself for your response to grief or because you could not do anything to prevent the death
- at God for not saving your loved one at your loved one for leaving.
“I experienced much anger during my grief journey-even angry at people or systems that had absolutely nothing to do with my loss.”
Guilt A sense of guilt for:
- the lack of ability to keep your loved one alive
- that things were not said
- that a person died alone or after an argument
“If only I didn’t suggest that John drive the motorcycle that day. It’s amazing how I could find ways to blame myself for a drunk driving accident that happened 30 miles from where I was at the time it happened.”
Sorrow and depression. Sorrow is often experienced as exhaustion, a deep sadness, but the emotions of the other stages may overpower the sorrow so it is less obvious than the other feelings.
“I think I’m in a place where I just miss her for who she was. Previous to that there had been a lot of anger about my situation that I also felt guilty for not simply missing my her. Now I was free to do that.”
Relief that the person is no longer suffering, that a difficult relationship is over
Jealousy of those who still have a husband / wife/ mother/ father / child/ brother /sister or families which are complete.
Where can I get help?
It can be helpful to talk to someone outside the immediate situation. You can always talk to the person who conducted the funeral. The vicar is always available to listen and to talk with you at any time.
Some people find it helpful to talk with a professional bereavement counsellor. Your GP will be able to advise you. Sometimes people need medication for a short while if they are unable to sleep, do speak to your GP.
Find out which friends you can trust to be there for you. Some people won’t be able to cope with grief and will avoid you. Others will be happy to listen and help you find a path through the pain.
The Samaritans are always available at the end of the telephone day or night.
There are a number of websites on bereavement/ funerals as well as the contacts listed in this leaflet:
St Georges and All Saints, Harnham
Rev’d Becky Roberts 01722 333564
Parish office : 07925 108856
Cruse Bereavement Care 01722 411938
Please note that when you call this local branch you may go through to an answer phone as some offices are run by volunteers. If you leave your name, number and the time at which you would like to be contacted someone will be able to call you back.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Salisbury branch 0844 3752775
CAB can advise you about legal and financial problems.
Printable version of the information above: