Throughout the Candid journey, we have met many strong and courageous people. Women with stories that mix tragic loss with an inspirational spirit of survival; these women are amazing. Through these conversations, there is a common sharing of the experience of 'stigma' or awkwardness that comes when talking about death. You might already be feeling uncomfortable, just reading this. Yet death is the one thing that is common among each and every one of us. Here's some lessons of support we've learned from our beautiful community that could be helpful if you or someone close to you, has lost a loved one.
Relief in talking about our loved ones
For many of us, thinking and talking about death is incredibly difficult. As a result of this, it has become common practice that we speak of it in hushed voices, or avoid the subject altogether. This seems an act of respect, but in fact, it often leads to distress.
Talking about the person you have lost is a powerful way to help process the emotions you feel at their passing. My beloved Nan passed away last year and it brings me a real sense of happy reflection to talk about, in essence to relive, some of the many wonderful moments shared with her.
Supportive silence is an important part of good conversation
It's ok not to know what to say. Sometimes there just isn't words to adequately express your feelings - be they feelings of your own loss or in trying to support and comfort someone else. If you are grieving, do not feel the need to explain your feelings, until you are ready or have the words to do so. If you are supporting someone, just being there, holding their hand or making a cup of tea, lets them know that you care.
Supportive silence is different than avoiding talking about death nor is it ignoring someones pain. It is a conscious awareness of that pain and active respect that it can take time to find ways to express it. Adding unnecessary words to fill the pain void, rarely achieves significant positive outcomes.
Be present and be supportive. Even if you don't know which words to use to express how you feel, your actions will.
Take your time
There is no set time-line for grief. It can come and go and potentially stay with you in one form or another for your entire life. Do not listen to well-meaning people who advise you that it's "time to move on". When and how you move on, must come from within. If you are feeling that you are struggling with your feelings and that you would like assistance in this process, then seek out expert support and advice.
There is a range of professional support available. Accessing this support can be highly beneficial in coping with loss or in processing your emotions in supporting someone who is grieving. We have included some helpful support links below.
You are not alone - useful resources
There is a wide range of professional support services that can be accessed to support in grief and bereavement. Below is a list of services that can help support you in this journey.
Talking about our loved ones who are no longer with us, can be a positive way to cope with grief. Acknowldeging death as a painful process, that we will all be exposed to at some stage throughout our lives, helps share the burden when we do experience it.
If you are struggling, reach out for help. You are not alone.