Bereavement

Overview

Published: 07/30/2010

by Funeral Home Resource Team

Photos

There is no right or wrong way to grieve — but there are healthy ways to journey through the bereavement process.

Grief and bereavement is our natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away.    

The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief.Everyone grieves differently. And that is normal.

Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and the nature of the loss. The grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried – and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold. 

Factors affecting bereavement

  • Your relationship with the deceased- grieving the death of a spouse may be different than the loss of a neighbor you only met once or twice
  • How the death occured - was it sudden (as in an accident or sudden heart attack), or did they have a chronic illness such as cancer, and knew death was nearing
  • Your personal character and coping style
  • Support from relatives and friends
  • Religious and spiritual beliefs

To help heal you must:

  • Accept the reality of the loss
  • Experience the pain of grief
  • Adapt to an environment in which the deceased person is absent
  • Begin participating in activities after the death