( skip to main content )

Coping with Life's Struggles: Death of a Loved One

What to Do When a Loved One Dies

Whether a death follows a prolonged illness, is sudden or unexpected, or is the natural end to a long and satisfying life, the loss of a friend or family member is always difficult. The death of someone we love can be the most distressing experience of our lives.

Death affects us in various ways including physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.

Many people report feeling an initial stage of numbness after leaning of a death. Grief is the sad and painful emotion experienced when a loved one dies. Grief is individual and personal, some common symptoms include:
• Difficulty eating and sleeping
• Frequent crying
• Irritability
• Inability to focus or be productive

Some feelings that are common at this time include:
• Shock
• Denial
• Sadness
• Anger
• Guilt
• Despair

Everyone grieves at a different pace. We need to be patient with ourselves and give ourselves the time we need.

It is important to remember that it takes time to accept the impact of a major loss. Over time the pain eases but we continue to mourn our loved ones, even if many years pass.

Grieving and mourning are natural processes which helps us to accept a significant loss.

It is important that we allow ourselves to express whatever feelings we have to help us cope with our grief. There are many things we can do for example;
• Be with people who are caring and understand our feelings
• Talk to people about our feelings
• Physical care, eg eating well and rest
• Seek outside help

For more information and support you may contact the Greek Welfare Centre.

Useful websites:

* beyoundblue.org.au
* funeralresources.com.au
* grief.org.au
* nalagic.org.au