Bereavement – No Right or Wrong Ways to Cope

Bereavement – No Right or Wrong Ways to Cope


When poet Helen Dumore passed away last year after a battle with cancer, she left something so poignant and beautiful that in her daughter’s time of need, she took comfort in knowing that her mother was at ease with her impending fate.

Unfortunately, death can be cruel, brought on by even crueller diseases, or crueller still, other human beings who don’t value the value of others lives and the pain and grief they cause.

Of course, there are stages that nearly all of us go through, but some of us don’t necessarily do them in order. Some of us don’t even do some of them, and skip to the next one.

They are:

Shock and Denial: Simply put, you can’t believe that, that person is gone forever. That they couldn’t be no longer with us. When we’re young, and lose someone, we are far more prone to this because it makes us question our own mortality.

Pain and Guilt: We start to reflect on things we’ve done, our shortcomings and our silly arguments. The things we’ve done that could have hurt the person and the regret we will never be able to ask for forgiveness.

Anger and Bargaining: I’m not talking offering to sell your soul for a single hour back, but frustrations and raw nerves can lead to you pushing people away, lashing out and blaming others. There is also trying pleading with mother nature that you’ll do  anything just as long as they are brought back and that this was all just a bad dream.

Depression, Reflection and Loneliness: After you have pushed everyone away, you are left alone, just you and your thoughts. Thoughts that can take very dark turns. ‘I want to be with him’ for example. It is imperative if you do find yourself falling into this stage, that you seek help from your GP, Samaritans, and Grievance Counselling, be that 1-1 or group, or both.

The Upward Turn: In time your new life will begin to regain some kind of normality, and a type of calm will begin to settle in. You’ll find yourself getting more and more organized mentally, and your depression will gradually lift.

Working though: As your life starts to regain structure, you’ll be more determined to work through your problems, finding solutions and even return to work.

Acceptance: Acceptance comes at different times for different people. If it was expected, you’ll find you may not actually experience this last, but instead first. But you’ll accept it was happening, and has ultimately happened.

When your life is thrown into turmoil through grief, there is only one thing you can do, and that is to work through things the best you can and to try to not fall into a pit of despair you feel you’ll never be able to climb out of. Speak to people, for the easiest way to achieve peace is to speak about it.