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Some tips for supporting those who are grieving

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Picture courtesy of Alexander Lam (www.unsplash.com)

It can be very hard to know what to do when someone you know is grieving a loss. Unhelpful responses run the gamut of trying to rush their process through to pretending that life is going on as normal. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to supporting people in their grief.

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Some DOs and DON’Ts for those who are grieving

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Picture courtesy of Benjamin Combs (www.unsplash.com)

Grieving is such an individual process and there are some very unhelpful messages out there with regard to the process of coming to terms with loss. Here are some tips to help you navigate through your own grief process and to grieve well.

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Common elements of the grief process

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Picture courtesy of Matthew Wiebe (www.unsplash.com)

The grief process always begins with the shock of the experience of loss but where it goes from there will vary with the individual. There are theories about grief that say that people go through specific steps or stages in a particular order. Such rigid approaches, however, tend to oversimplify the grief process and may increase rather than decrease distress when a person’s experience does not match the theory.

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Let’s talk about grief

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Picture courtesy of Dikaseva (www.unsplash.com)

We all expect grief to make an appearance when someone dies but did you realise that grief shows up in other situations as well?

What is grief?
Grief is the normal human process of coming to terms with a significant loss. Keep in mind that what is significant to one person may not be significant to another; an identical loss may be experienced as devastation to one and a minor inconvenience to another. The intensity of grief experienced usually (but not always) indicates the significance of the loss to the one grieving.

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