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Coping with the loss of your loved one

Fri 19th Jun 2020

At this difficult time, it's normal to experience a wide range of emotions. Please know that those feelings are normal. Grief is a natural response to loss. It is complicated and unpredictable, and does not have a set timeframe. It is an individual experience, and people grieve in their own way. During this time, it is important to reach out to friends, family members, and close colleagues for support.

If you feel overwhelmed with grief, there are resources available. Mental health professionals, specialising in grief counselling, can provide tools for how to best manage your grief and help you regain control.

Your grief is your own. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. However, there are ways that you can manage the grieving process and come to terms with your loss.

Talk about your loss. Share your loss with friends, family members and close colleagues. Talking about your loss with others can help you understand what happened, and find meaning in your emotions. Rather than avoiding them, lean on the people that make up your support system, spend time with them, and accept their help.

Accept your feelings. During this difficult time, you may experience a range of emotions. Grief is a natural response to loss. It is important to acknowledge your pain, and accept your feelings. Avoiding your feelings can prolong the grieving process. Remember, if you feel overwhelmed, share your experience with a therapist or mental health professional.

Care for yourself. Grief is exhausting. It can affect every part of your life, including your physical health. Feeling healthy physically can improve your mental and emotional health. Eat healthy foods, drink water, exercise, and maintain good sleeping habits. Following those small, simple steps can help make a big difference.

Help each other cope. Spend time with those experiencing the same loss and find ways to support one another through the grieving process. Celebrate their memory together by listening to their favourite music, sharing fond memories with each other, or visiting their favourite place. This can help make your loved one feel closer.

Celebrate your loved one. It is important to prepare for anniversaries and milestones, which can trigger grief. It can be difficult, but it can also be a time for contemplation and celebration. You can honour your loved one by making a donation to their favourite charity, or planting a garden in their memory. Remember, reach out to your support network, particularly during these times.

Join a support group. You may not feel comfortable expressing your thoughts and emotions with your family members, friends and colleagues. Sharing your experience with others that are removed from your situation, and hearing about similar experiences, can help the grieving process. You can find a list of national support groups here

Speak with a mental health professional. Grief can be overwhelming. A mental health professional with experience in grief counselling can help you work through your emotions, and overcome the unique challenges that come with grief and loss. In this private setting, you can express your thoughts and emotions openly without embarrassment or judgement. Book an appointment with a general practitioner to discuss your Mental Health Care Plan.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, there is support available.

Beyond Blue provides Australians with information and support to improve their mental health. Call 1300 22 46 36 or visit for more information.

Lifeline Australia provides Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support. Call 13 11 14 or visit for more information.

To explore ways to pay tribute to a loved one, click here.