Bereavement support

I had an interesting meeting with a colleague yesterday where we compared how people’s attitude to bereavement and support had changed over the years and improved thankfully. When we were younger we were often left without support trying to make sense of tragic situations.

However, nowadays within schools, colleges and universities help is available and this help and support is expanding for many reasons. Indeed professionals on-site are excellent and discussing this with various colleagues over the past few years -it is apparent they really need and want students to make them aware of issues. Information shared enables them to help, ease students’ pain and offer  support especially if course work is proving difficult which understandably it will.

Along with the various stresses life imposes on our teenage children, they may also be faced with bereavement and find themselves in new territory. The various stages of bereavement are a challenge individually and the bereaved will find themselves facing a string of emotions including anger and maybe even helplessness.

I have often helped others searching to describe their feelings by offering my own description of how ‘I lost my sense of purpose’ when my Mother died and I know that will resonate with many. But it does get easier.

My advice is not to struggle alone but seek help and find somebody to talk to either within your family or outside the circle. In admitting that you are finding it difficult is not a sign of weakness, far from it. I have written many articles on this subject and suppressing one’s emotions may possibly lead to a range of health problems including; sleeplessness, eating disorders, migraines  and other stress related illnesses.

My message today is that you will get through this period, eventually feeling better able to carry on and hopefully begin to enjoy life again. Start to re-visit activities that may have been shelved as bereavement sometimes manifests itself in a desire to withdraw.

Live life to the full and remember it is actually good to cry and real friends will understand that too. However, sometimes we may feel guilty to appear happy or laugh again feeling it is disrespectful to the person who has died, when in fact they would want you to go on living and be happy and not allow your grief to consume you.

My closing  comment would be celebrate their life and not allow the way they died determine who they were…it wasn’t they were amazing in their own way and remember that instead.

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