Introduction to the Grieving Process
For this month’s bog I have asked Judith Hill our Bereavement care co-ordinator to write an introduction to the grieving process. This will be followed with a more in-depth blog about the various stages of grief. Judith has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area.
In nearly 20 years of working with clients, I hope some of the following will be of use to people newly bereaved, or for anyone supporting a bereaved person.
I have learned as much from my clients, as they have received during support with me.
I once came across a book long ago, when studying, called “On Learning from the Client”, aimed at reminding Counsellors/Supporters to remember that we aren’t always the experts. Not specifically a bereavement study book, but I have found the title of this book to be absolutely true.
There is a recognised process to grieving, which everyone who has lost someone they care about will experience. This is an unconscious process. Each experience will be influenced, by the way the loss happened, the age of the person and the relationship the bereaved person had with them. Definitely not an easily described subject for generalisation.
Grief behaviour is also seen in the animal kingdom. Birds, apes, and elephant families are all shown to exhibit quite marked signals of grief, and there are probably others too. However as humans with higher intellect, we have more emotion, and therefore our grief will be longer and more in depth.
We are programmed to respond with grieving when someone we love dies. Therefore whilst absolutely not a pleasant thing, it is definitely “normal”. If one could be perfectly o.k. following a sad loss, we would all be wondering what was wrong with the relationship. The expression of our grief is in some way an honour for the love between us, and also “the price we pay for having that loving relationship”.
Many books have been written about this experience but I would like to point out, there isn’t a rule book. Each individual experiencing grief, will hopefully find a way through the stages, to a point where they are able to live a vibrant life, moving forward, whilst embracing the change of circumstance, discovering new things and in some way accepting the loss.
Judith has picked up a few really key issues and I look forward to reading her next blog post. Bereavement care has been Mark Hillier’s passion for the past 20 years, believing that a funeral directors job doesn’t end on the day of the funeral. We are therefore very proud of the service we offer to all our families. To find out more information or to contact Judith directly please visit https://www.hillierfuneralservice.co.uk/bereavement-support/