Grief Awareness Week
Supporting friends or family through grief
It’s important that we make grief an easier topic to discuss; that we learn how to support friends, family members and colleagues; and help to normalise conversations around grief.
The Good Grief trust has some tips for supporting friends or family through grief, some of which we have outlined below. Visit their website here to find more useful resources, bereavement help lines and other support options available.
Stop for a chat
The bereaved often have to hide their grief from others. Sometimes it’s from their friends and family as they don’t want to burden them. Sometimes it’s from their colleagues at work. Please look out for them, check they are okay, in the early days and ongoing. They may look alright, they may be going to work, but on the inside they could be struggling and just need your support and understanding.
Say their name, I’m thinking about them anyway
We’re often afraid to mention the name of the person who has died. We think we’ll upset our friend or family member, but it’s generally the opposite. By saying their name, remembering them and talking about them, you’re helping to share your love and affection for that person. This is very important and will help those grieving to know that you will help to keep their memory alive.
There’s no set time for grieving
It’s generally believed that people ‘get over’ grief. That you ‘move on’. You don’t. You move forward with your grief, but you may be affected by a bereavement throughout your whole life. Often after the funeral, people leave and things go ‘back to normal’. This is the time when the bereaved most need support, when they feel alone and isolated. We need to understand that there are triggers that may come from nowhere that will affect them in the weeks, months and years after the death.
Are you struggling with grief, or know someone that is?
Norfolk County Council has launched ‘Taking the Time to Heal’ – a campaign aimed at reassuring bereaved people that grief is normal and support is at hand. Click here to access the new website.