Grief is a natural response to loss; the experience of grief is different for everyone. There is no road map for grief, but there are many services available to support you through your grief journey.
Loss and grief support services can provide counselling, advice and education. Being able to talk things through with a professional can help you to process your thoughts and understand your feelings regarding bereavement.
The funeral support services at Bethel are here to assist you. This summary of grief support resources is designed to provide helpful suggestions and practical strategies for you to implement during this difficult time.
1. Go online – Independent Organisations
Lifeline is a national Australian charity designed to provide 24/7 support to people experiencing personal crisis. The loss and grief page of the Lifeline website provides helpful information for coping with grief.
Beyond Blue is an organisation working to support mental health and wellbeing across Australia. The Beyond Blue website includes a grief and loss section where advice and fact sheets relating to grief can be found.
The NALAG Centre for Loss and Grief is a not for profit organisation providing education regarding grief, loss and bereavement. The NALAG website features an extensive library of free, downloadable brochures. The grief brochures provide practical strategies in support of wellbeing during the grieving process.
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement provides a range of downloadable resources for grief in significant events, for grief in the workplace, or for primary school children. Visit grief.org.au to explore their range of resources.
2. Contact a professional counsellor
Talking about your feelings with empathetic family and friends can be a wonderful way to process grief. But, if your feelings of sadness become overwhelming, you might like to consider engaging the services of a professional counsellor or psychologist. Sometimes grief can be felt from a combination of different losses, almost as if they have become tangled together. A professional can help you to begin to untangle some of those issues so they can all be dealt with individually.
To find a local, registered, psychologist, who specialises in grief and loss, you can browse the search engine of The Australian Psychological Society, seek counselling from the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement or visit your GP to request a recommendation, or a referral to your preferred professional service provider.
3. Visit a religious organisation
During difficult times, many people draw comfort and strength from their faith. Your local church, religious organisation, or faith leader, can provide support and guidance during your grief journey.
Support groups of volunteers often join with religious organisations to offer casual gatherings of people wishing to support one another through loss and grief. The staff at Bethel are available to help connect you with relevant support services.
4. Read about it
Reading about grief can enhance your understanding of the impact of bereavement. Books can be purchased online, ordered through your local bookshop, or requested at your local library.
A search of the catalogue at your local library will reveal a multitude of grief related titles. Narrow the scope of your search by including keywords that are relevant to your experience, for example: death of a spouse, loss of a parent.
The Goodreads website features an extensive list of books on grief and grieving. You can peruse the titles, read the reviews, and make a choice that resonates with your situation.
Building a small collection of books on loss and grief ensures you will always have comforting resources close to hand, for when you need them the most.
5. Help yourself
Self-care is a very important part of the grief journey. The emotions associated with grief can be exhausting. It is important that you take care of yourself, as well as others, when you are grieving.
Meditation can be a restorative way of calming your mind, while stilling your thoughts. Free guided meditation sessions can be downloaded through the Smiling Mind website.
Listening to music can be an uplifting distraction from sadness. Active pursuits like gardening and walking can help to reconnect you with the calming influence of nature.
Watching light-hearted television shows, or amusing video clips, can also help to shift heavy thoughts and feelings. To read more about the healing powers of humour, please refer to our article Healing power of humour.
Bereavement support services and counselling are important sources of comfort and strength. By accessing these services, you can help prevent long term mental and physical health problems from occurring.
For further information regarding the grieving process, watch our video with Ruth Walker, a psychologist from Karinya Counselling Centres, who discusses coping with grief and loss.