Our hearts go out to the families and friends who have not been able to share last moments with their loved ones during the global pandemic and haven’t been able to say goodbye, or have had to say goodbye virtually. 
 
You may feel guilt that your loved one has died alone, even though it’s out of your control. And then the funeral. Friends and relatives have had the ritual of saying goodbye taken away from them; something that is part of the normal grieving process. 
2020 A year of loss

'Distance shouldn't mean we can't share our grief' 

Unresolved grief is usually to do with things that have been left unsaid. However, this is a new variant of unresolved grief; the inability to say goodbye, which may limit grievers from becoming complete with their loss in the future. 
 
As with many aspects of our lives, we’re having to adapt what we already have. Technology and the telephone can connect you with others, so you’re not grieving alone. Keep sharing with one another. A memorial event can help those unable to attend a funeral an opportunity to say goodbye. A virtual link for the funeral may also be possible. 
 
As one of the slogans of this year's National Grief Awareness Week says - "Distance shouldn't mean we can't share our grief". 

Sharing Your Grief Story 

Grief can be isolating. You might feel that nobody understands what you’re going through. It might be your loved one died some time ago but you’re still hurting, and you’re worried that others might think you should be ‘over it.’ However, time is not a great healer, it’s the action you take after a loss that matters. 
 
It’s never too late to talk about your loss. It’s an idea to find a safe person who you feel comfortable sharing what you’re feeling with. This will help you to prevent feelings of isolation. Ideally, you want to find someone who is a ‘heart with ears;’ a good listener who won’t interrupt or tell you how to feel. 
When you’re ready, find a safe space. Talking about your losses may generate some normal and natural human emotions, such as tears. It may feel awkward at first, but the goal is to start feeling comfortable and safe talking about loss. If you don't feel comfortable with anyone you know, you might want to find your nearest Grief Recovery Specialist and do 1-1 visits (online sessions can be provided by Advanced Specialists). 

Get the conversation started and #ShareYourStory 

To mark National Grief Awareness Week (2nd-8th December), we’ve created a brand-new version of Box of Hearts based on our Open Ears programme. Inside each Box of Hearts are 52 cards with conversation starters and questions specifically for people who want to have good conversations with a friend or relative who has experienced a bereavement, along with some guidance for the person doing the asking. Order a box for your own family and order one for a friend as a gift. Together we can practice sharing our stories and breaking the taboo around grief and loss. 

Hear us #ShareYourStory 

We don't just talk the talk, we walk the walk - listen as three of our Grief Recovery Specialists share their stories using our Bereavement Box of Hearts. We hope it inspires you to speak with others and begin conversations with your friends and family. 
If you could have one last conversation, what would you talk about? 
If you could write a book about your experience, what would it be called and why? 
What is the most unhelpful thing someone has said to you since (name) died? 
About the Author 
Maria Bailey
Maria Bailey is an Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist and looks after media relations for Grief Recovery UK. She has spent her career working in public relations. Maria now lives by the seaside in Devon with her family and dog, and is a school governor and preschool chairman. 

Get our 5-point plan to download! 

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