Grief is a natural response to loss. Each one of us, however, may experience it quite differently. Grief is a painful process with thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that may be difficult for us to understand. Family and friends of the deceased may experience a range of emotions and behaviours including denial, fear, anger, guilt, lack of sleep and low self-esteem.

Bereavement describes the period after the death of a loved one. It’s a time in which we learn to live without them, and when we struggle to adjust to a new situation. There is no time limit to this process but the following may influence the length of our bereavement:

Was the death sudden or unexpected? Was death preceded by a long illness? What was your relationship with the deceased? What has been your previous experience with grief? How did you cope? What support systems are available? (family, friends, community, church, counselling)