Posts tagged “bereavement”

Every loss is unique, as is every person who has suffered loss. But those who have been bereaved by suicide know that there are aspects of this type of loss that are particularly painful, hard to accept, challenging to explain to others and seemingly impossible to overcome. 
 
We would like to talk about some of the unique aspects of bereavement by suicide to help those left behind as well as those who would like to provide them support. 
Last July, just as I’d pitched up a tent in a field in Cornwall, I got a devastating call from my mum’s friend to say that she’d started coughing up blood not long after we’d left home and had been taken by ambulance to hospital. She didn’t want to worry us. The next day, we learned she had terminal lung cancer that had spread. My stoic, stubborn mother told us to go and make memories with the children, and that I wasn’t allowed to visit anyway, due to Covid restrictions. I did as I was told in between floods of tears. 
Esther Rantzen - Living with Grief

It's not very often tv talks about grief so we're thrilled that Channel 5 have given Esther Rantzen the chance to explore the topic in this ground breaking documentary. 

One of the most painful of experiences when you’re grieving is having a disturbing image of your loved one’s final hours, days, or weeks etched on your mind that you keep flashing back to. 
 
If your relative or friend died from COVID-19, our hearts go out to you. You may have seen your relative in hospital via a video call from their hospital bed. Your last image may have been seeing them in the back of an ambulance with an oxygen mask on. Your mind may have made up its own image if you weren’t able to see them. 
Stuck on a painful lasting image
Whether it’s your first Christmas without a certain person or your fifth, whether you’ve experienced a significant loss in the past year or are sad to be spending the holidays alone – so many of us struggle at this time of year because our memories turn painful, certain songs or decorations trigger emotional reactions or we’re heartbroken that our relationships are not the way we wish they could be. 
 
Many of us find it difficult to enjoy the Christmas and New Year. What makes things all the more challenging is that we're expected to be in good spirits all of the time and that we see everyone else enjoying their Christmas holidays and thinking we should be able to do the same. 
Christmas when you're grieving
Men hear a lot of messages as they grow up that can inhibit their ability to grieve. Unhelpful phrases including, ‘man up,’ and ‘crying is for wimps/girls.’ Men have been told for generations that they’ve got to be strong. 
 
We want to enlighten you. 
Men and Grief
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
Today, we would like to remember the Service families and the sacrifices they make. As part of standing with those in Service they inevitably experience feelings of grief, the conflicted feelings caused by the end of, or change, in a familiar pattern of behaviour. 
 
These families endure periods of separation from their loved ones, experience the loss of friends or deaths of service members from their units, and can experience the loss of their loved ones. If there are younger children involved, there can be an added complication of explaining their parent is never coming home. 
Lest we forget
Do you have a grieving friend, but you don’t know what to say or do?  
 
A typical nervous reaction is to ask if they are okay. Relentlessly. And of course, they are not.  
 
As a friend, you can end up in a ‘no man’s land’ of wanting to help, show support, and that you care, but you don’t know how. And then you’re worried about disturbing their mourning. 
How to support a friend after loss
As the first wave of COVID-19 victims’ families reach the six-month milestone, and the pain of loss isn’t getting any easier, we wanted to give you some hope. And it has nothing to do with time being a great healer. All time does is pass. 
 
There will inevitably be anniversaries, and no day will pass without a thought crossing your mind about your loved one. As you reach six months without them, anniversaries, birthdays, the anniversary of their death, and other occasions without them will no doubt trigger those feelings of loss and often the raw, overwhelming, consuming pain all over again. 
Covid 19 pain
This is a time for compassion and empathy. As we go back into local lockdowns and the rate of infection increases, anxiety is also rising. Getting through the day can be hard enough for some. 
 
We are calling on you to take notice, listen, and comfort others without trying to fix, analyse or explain, or change the topic back to yourself. 
How to actively listen
As employees start to return to work, now is a good time to start planning how your business is going to support those who have been bereaved during Lockdown. 
 
Identifying employees who have been bereaved can be ascertained by line managers during catch-up calls, or via a simple email survey. This is important, as you may not have a clear indication of those who have lost friends and family members outside of immediate family. For immediate family losses, we have guidelines for writing sympathy letters here
Grief in the Workplace
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