Grief and bereavement
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The death of someone close can be the saddest and most painful experience in your life.
- Grief is a natural response to someone's death.
- Bereavement is the period of mourning or state of grief following the death of a loved one.
Dealing with grief
It is important to realise that there are no rules or timetables for grieving. Allow yourself time to grieve and find your own way through it.
- You may feel confusion and exhaustion. Grief is painful and overwhelming.
- You may be busy arranging a funeral, coping with visitors and phone calls.
- You may be overwhelmed with dealing with administration and the feelings of other people.
- It can help to have people around you who will support you.
- Crying is natural and an important part of the healing process.
- Types of reactions include like sadness, anger, anxiety, disbelief, panic, irritability, numbness.
How grief may affect you
Everyone grieves differently. You may cope quite well, or you may feel overwhelmed by grief. It is important to know that this is all okay. Common physical and emotional reactions include:
- changes to your sleep patterns feeling tired
- changes to your appetite
- feelings of anxiety or numbness
- loss of concentration, memory problems or confusion
- talking, seeing, hearing, thinking or dreaming about the person who has died
- visiting places that remind you of them
- thinking about your own life priorities and purpose
How relationships are affected by grief
In grief, we can feel vulnerable, confused and isolated. You may be hurt or upset by another’s reactions.
- Your family members and others may express their grief in different ways.
- You may find that your relationships with others can change.
- Let people know you are working through your grief in your own way.
- Ask them for their patience and support.
- Many people don’t know what to say to you.
How to deal with your grief
- Stay in contact with people who can support you, listen and accept your feelings.
- Special occasions are difficult. It is normal to be sad or have mixed emotions.
- Acknowledge the difficulty and do what you feel you need to do during this time.
- Try not to make important decisions soon after bereavement.
- Take the time to think about things carefully and don’t feel pressured to make decisions.
- Seek support from someone you trust, your doctor, counselling or pastoral care.
Support and counselling services
If you would like to talk to someone, please contact our Specialist Palliative Care Service. We can refer you to the Walking Through Grief Program.
You can also visit the following websites to get more information and support.
- Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement
- Bereavement Care Centre
- Reach Out
- Bereavement Care Network Tasmania