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Grief & Bereavement Care

Grief is the intense and inner sorrow that results from losing someone or something significant. Grief is something each person feels within themselves and is unique to the individual and there are many things that can impact the way our grief is expressed, for example; our culture, age, community, family beliefs and experiences, its cause to name a few.

Bereavement is the period of intense loss felt when a loved one dies. Grief derives from a word meaning ‘to rob’ (as in ‘I have been robbed’), and links to feelings of being violated. Bereavement can often last several years and may be disregarded, under-acknowledged and under-supported.

Mourning is collective and/or publicly-expressed grief, and the word ‘mourning’ comes from the Greek ‘to cut’. Mourning is a verb (action word) that relates to what steps we take to get us through, or over, the bridge of grief. For example: attending a funeral, being able to talk about our grief, crying, being understood and heard – mourning is likened to the externalisation of our inner grief.

The experiences of grief, bereavement and mourning come to us all at some point, and often those around us provide support and teach us how to express these states. Different traditions and cultures around the world may express grief, bereavement and mourning differently, and it is common - particularly in the West or in western cultures for us to downplay or under-express these emotions.



There are many great resources we can draw from, the first of which is - often - our family, friends, and communities. Other resources may include a counsellor or compassionate listener, as well as the resources provided by relevant organisations including these listed here below:

• Grief Australia

• Bereavement Support – how other people can help

• Compassionate Friends

• Griefline – online support and resources

• Guiding Light

• Lifeline

• Refuge in Grief

• How to help a grieving friend

• When you are grieving

• Sands

• What’s Your Grief (dual process model)


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