Grief and Loss

Change and the accompanying experience of loss is part of everyday life. We will all experience change, from work variations, retirement and illness, to the more serious upheavals such as separation and death.

These changes can come with grief and a feeling of sadness and often have a major effect on our personal welfare.

The way in which we manage loss is very important, as it can greatly affect our relationships and well-being. We may initially feel like we can cope on our own, but once life begins to slow down and return to 'normal', feelings of grief can catch up with us.

Senior Supervisior at Relationships Australia WA Elizabeth Brennan said these are typical reactions and individuals shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek out help.

“Grief is a natural phenomenon, a process and a journey we must be willing to travel.

“In order to move on we need to be willing to take the next step forward. We need to grieve the loss before we can accept it.”

She said the importance of reaching out for support to family, friends or a counsellor should never be underestimated.

Relationships Australia WA run workshops and counselling sessions aimed at helping individuals to recognise inevitable losses and develop the skills to minimise any impact it might have on their lives

Tips to help deal with a crisis

  1. Keep up your daily habits as much as possible. Routine can help alleviate any feelings of displacement or loss. Try and maintain regular sleeping patterns and eating habits.
  2. Take time to participate in something other than dealing with the loss. Sometimes taking a walk with a friend, reading or listening to our favourite music can help take our minds off things.
  3. Don’t keep your emotions bottled up inside – talk to someone, whether it is family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues or professionals.
  4. If you feel like you aren’t coping alone don’t be afraid to seek professional support. There are a range of options available including your GP and local support services.
  5. Chalk up your achievements – reflect positively on the small things you have done in your journey to pull everything back together.
  6. Appreciate how your family, friends and even the wider community have helped out when you have needed it. It’s times like these in which the community pulls together in support and the best in society is highlighted.
  7. Watch for any changes in your children’s or partners behaviour.
  8. Write a reasonable to-do list every day. Don’t be afraid to delegate some task to those willing to help out – working 24/7 won’t help anyone.
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