Bereavement and loss

Losing someone or something important to us

Grief and a sense of loss are emotions we experience in many contexts: when we leave our families or our home; when a relationship ends; or when someone close to us dies.  Grief affects everyone: it is the universal reaction to loss. It is painful and stressful, but also natural, normal and necessary.

The death of someone who is significant to you is one of the hardest things you will experience in your life. Whether it is expected or a shock, the enormity of loss is something that impacts on you in a very profound way.

Grief can take a long time to work through, and often it will take longer than you expect. It is important to give it the time it needs. It is an inevitable and human response to loss, and if suppressed it may well surface at some later, less appropriate time. We all need to grieve in our own way and in our own time.

For the process of healing to occur the pain of grief has to be experienced and expressed. Often talking about your loss, working through your feelings with someone else, such as a counsellor, will help you through the process.

The experience of grief

Although everyone’s experience is unique, the most common feelings are:

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