Grief and Bereavement

Each person experiences grief differently, moving from deep sadness to healing and recovery, and will take different approaches to dealing with their grief. It is important to recognize that the people who support people who are dying also experience grief, especially if they experience frequent deaths of clients, some of which might be very traumatic.

Common grief reactions to death can be:

  • Physical
    • headaches
    • feeling tired
    • achy muscles
    • nausea
    • dizziness
  • Emotional
    • sadness
    • anger
    • disbelief
    • despair
    • guilt
    • loneliness
    • feeling dazed, numb or empty
  • Mental
    • forgetfulness
    • lack of concentration
    • confusion
    • poor memory
  • Behavioural
    • change in sleep patterns
    • dreams or nightmares
    • change to appetite

Grief support for one another needs to become an integral part of work as does marking or honouring the death of a person, such as:

Ways to seek support for grief:

  • Talk to the people who have similar experiences
  • Develop a buddy system at work to talk with someone that will ensure confidentiality
  • Request help when needed
  • Take time to say goodbye and to honour and remember the person.

Ways to mark a death:

  • Participate in a ritual
  • Pray, chant, sing, smudge, observe communion or blessings, light candles, ring bells
  • Open windows
  • Cover mirrors
  • Reminisce and share stories.
  • Play the person’s favourite song
  • Hold a remembrance ceremony or memorial
  • Any other way a person is comfortable doing