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Coping with Grief

Grief and Love go hand in hand; grief cannot exist without love. Love is at the heart of every relationship and has differing degrees of intensity. It ebbs and flows, with peaks and troughs throughout our lives.

The love of a child for its parent changes with time, as we grow older and more independent and life knocks the edges off the security blanket we all carry around with us as children. But the love of a parent for a child can lose nothing over time. Indeed as we grow older our parents may grow more anxious that something awful might befall us and they are powerless to protect us.

The love of a man for his wife or a woman for her husband changes with time. From the passion of the honeymoon period we settle into each others company, happy to be together and assured of a strong, solid friendship. Having somewhere we can call home reduces our stress levels considerably.

Grief is not just about Death. To various degrees Grief manifests itself when a marriage breaks down or a friendship ends or when we are made redundant. Grief is a very important part of life. It helps you to understand what has happened to you and understanding is at the heart of beginning to come to terms with your loss. The road is long but it will ultimately bring you back into the light and you must not forget hundreds of millions have trod the same path.

But we should not allow a fear of grief, to colour our view of the world. That would be doing ourselves an injustice. Life is for living, it is about learning from our mistakes, learning from our frailties and trying to make ourselves better people for it. We would miss out on so much happiness if we allowed the fear of grief to stop us forming relationships with others. Happy and sad, two sides of the same coin.

When we are faced with the death of someone we love dearly it is difficult to retain some semblance of normality.

But you shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the intensity of your grief mirrors the intensity of your love for that person. There is no point trying to reason with grief, all you can do is try and ride it out. Keeping your mind busy helps, it is also a time to look to your friends and family to give you support.

Grief is an intensely personal emotion. Platitudes like “I know how you feel” are of no real use to someone who is grieving because people can’t know how you are feeling. They can only guess.

Soldiers returning from war often cannot talk to their families about their experiences and can only find comfort in talking to those who were there as well. It is the same with grief.

Talking about it helps enormously; shared family memories can help to start to get things in perspective when dealing with the loss of a loved one.  Do not bottle it up.

The charity Cruse is a very good organisation, staffed by Bereavement Counsellors who can also help in this respect.

AgeUK has a wealth of information about Bereavement on its web site. Click on this link to access it.

A newly added resource is the Counselling Directory. Click on this link to find a Bereavement Counsellor near to where you live.

Finally do talk to your GP about the options available to help you.

As I said on the previous page the grief of bereavement can be extremely painful for those left behind and understandably will cloud their view of the world.

In the early stages many find it impossible to imagine life going on as normal. But it does, as day follows night.

I have found that the words of the 17th century writer Michel de Montagne give some comfort in that respect. He wrote

“There is no road that doth not have an end and, if company is solace, doth not the whole world go the same way?”

Since the dawn of time Men and Women have pondered on the meaning of life.

I have put together a few  quotes from ancient times up to the present day that may help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on this link to see them.

Whilst you never fully get over the death of a loved one, with time the pain does diminish and there will come a time when you can remember with a smile, the life you had together.

Love doesn’t end with dying

Or leave with the last breath

For those that we’ve loved deeply,

Love doesn’t end with death.