What is bereavement?
Mourning. Loss. Grief. It is a normal reaction to a major loss. It is for most people an unhappy and painful emotion.
What causes grief?
It may be the result of the death of a loved one. It can also be triggered when a person experiences an illness for which there is no cure, or a chronic condition that affects their quality of life. The end of a significant relationship may also cause a grieving process.
Everyone feels grief in their own way. However, there are common stages to the process of mourning. It starts with recognizing a loss and continues until a person eventually accepts that loss. People’s responses to grief will be different, depending on the circumstances of the death.
How do I know if I’m experiencing grief?
It is often said that grieving process has five stages. These reactions might not occur in a specific order, and can (at times) occur together. Not everyone experiences all of these emotions:
- Denial, disbelief, numbness
- Anger, blaming others
- Bargaining (for instance “If I am cured of this cancer, I will never smoke again.”)
- Depressed mood, sadness, and crying
- Acceptance, coming to terms
People who are grieving may have crying spells, some trouble sleeping, and lack of productivity at work.
How can I get help for my grief?
Family and friends can offer emotional support during the grieving process. Sometimes outside factors can affect the normal grieving process, and people might need help from:
- Family and friends
- Social workers
- Mental health specialists
- Self-help groups
How long does grief last?
It can sometimes take a year or longer to overcome strong feelings of grief, and to accept the loss. Each person experiences loss differently. Grief should not be prevented because it is a healthy response to loss. Instead, it should be respected. Those who are grieving should have support to help them through the process. If you need such support, please contact the rectory office to be put in touch with our clergy.