Grief & Loss Kit
In your time of need it is very important that you look after yourself and those around you who are also feeling your loss.
It is often hard to stay focused on everyday life, much less the important things which have to be done, preferably sooner than later.
Obits.com.au does not pretend to be professional grief advisors, funeral planners, medical advisors, legal practitioners, financial advisors or your shoulder to cry on.
We can however offer you a guide on some of the things that should be done and suggestions as to who to see under these difficult circumstances.
Your support network of family and friends will be very important to you in the coming weeks and months.
You may feel overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. There are many people who are trained to help you with these matters and who are more than willing to do so. Delegate tasks accordingly and take as much pressure off yourself as possible.
Use the resources which are available and take the time to remember and grieve your loved one in your own way.
On the following pages you will find some information that may be of assistance to you.
Things To Do
Most of the above can be delegated to family and friends but it is vital that you keep a log of who’s doing what and when each task gets done.
A filing system however simple is absolutely necessary for all the documents. Wherever possible duplicate each document and always store the original in a safe and secure location.
Immediately following the death of a family member or close friend we are often besieged by feelings of grief and bereavement.
We all react differently to these emotions but certain trends are very common.
In the beginning we often go through periods of numbness to extreme outpourings of emotion. This cycle may continue for months after our loved one’s passing.
We might expect that as time goes by the grieving process is less painful, this is sometimes not the case. Some people may feel worse a year or more after the death than they did when it happened. You see by then the initial numbness has worn off and we may well feel the full pain of the loss.
Demotivation and a complete loss of interest are not going to help us or the ones around us. If you find yourself in this situation it may well be advisable to seek out a qualified counsellor and talk about what’s happening. Your local GP is often a good starting point.
A sense of shock, fear, anxiety, guilt, anger and loss of faith are very common steps in the grieving process.The loss of a loved one is a traumatic experience and the effect it can have on us should not be underrated.
Sometimes the physical reactions can include; numbness, tightness in the throat and chest, shortness of breath, sensitivity to loud noises, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, agitation, restlessness and difficulty sleeping.
It goes without saying that the above reactions are also symptoms of other more serious conditions so it is imperative that you see your doctor if only for the sake of reassurance.
Remember that it is perfectly natural to mourn and to grieve. You must not deny yourself permission to mourn.
Transform your grief into memory and come to terms with the fact that your loved one has passed on and you are still here. This transformation usually occurs when, in your own time and in your own way, you can say goodbye to your loved one and cherish their memory.
Listen to your family and close friends but if they are not helping then seek professional counselling.
Apart from Funeral Directors and doctors there are other professional people you should consider.
Whether you realise it not you will probably need some professional help in one form or another. By all means be strong but don’t be foolish. Certain things are best handled by people who are highly trained and licensed in their field. Seek these professionals out and make use of their services. You will be the one benefiting the most.
Please find following a few internet resources which may be helpful.
The GriefLink website provides information on many aspects of death-related grief. It includes information about: 26 different grief topics; books and videos; services and supports in South Australia; links to other relevant sites and services; and a quiz.
Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement
National Association for Loss and Grief (Vic)
National Association for Loss and Grief (NSW) Inc
These websites contain other links which may be of assistance.