The title of my blog today many would say is a contradiction in terms, and, of course it is. The British way is to appear to cope when really the journey through bereavment is a struggle and supressing those feelings only adds to the pain.
For those who may have nursed a loved one through cancer, to a certain degree the bereavement process has already started as we see our loved ones slip away.
As I frequently write we keep our loved ones alive in our heart and our mind and the TV Dr Hilary on the Lorraine programme echoed that fact today. He also agreed how it is far better to let our grief out and share and talk about our feelings.
My own personal experiences have made me determined to talk to the bereaved rather than avoid them or talking about their loss. As always it is kinder to give them the opportunity to talk, cry and realise you probably won’t have the right words. However, listening and checking they are OK is a start…and not just the week of the funeral it is the weeks, months and even years that they need your friendship and continued support.
Nobody copes…we may feel anger, sad, guilt, depressed along with a whole host of feelings which are beyond our control hour by hour in those initial weeks..but coping probably isn’t one of them.
There are of course great support charities around and steering somebody towards them and/or a counsellor if appropriate would be the act of a true friend.