When a loved one passes away, there is no one blueprint for coping with grief and how to manage when someone dies. There may be elements of grief that seem to affect everyone at some point in our journeys, but the panorama of emotions we feel is unique after someone passes. There truly is no normal way to grieve.

That said, we can find ways to nurture and honour our grief and explore healthy ways to manage the grieving process. This article offers advice on coping with grief and being kind to yourself during one of life’s most difficult challenges.

What is grief?

Grief is one of the most human things you can experience. It may be defined as emotional suffering in response to when something or someone you love is taken away. Often this suffering takes the form of intense pain, but it can also manifest in many different ways. Have you ever helped someone who is grieving? Do you remember seeing their disbelief, guilt, anger or profound sadness? You may also remember their physical state, often fragile and vulnerable, in response to their loss. These are all completely normal reactions to loss.

Managing the grieving process
When a loved one passes away, there is no one blueprint for coping with grief.

What is the grieving process?

The grieving process is the way in which we cope with loss. You may have heard of the five stages of grief, but you do not have to go through each stage in order to heal. Some people are able to find peace without experiencing denial, anger, bargaining or depression.

One of the most important things to remember is that there is no schedule for grief. We need to be patient with ourselves and accept the waves of suffering that come and go, as well as lean into the gratitude and intimacy we will experience with friends and family who help us along the way. Whether your experience in coping with grief is measured in months or years, it is important to respect your experience and work towards closure.

Why is closure important in coping with grief?

Closure is a fundamental part of the grieving process. If we do not find closure, we will not be able to accept what has happened and be at peace. Closure is like finishing the chapter in a book. It does not mean that the book has finished or what happened in the previous chapters has been forgotten. It simply means moving on to the next chapter, honouring the past while accepting the present.

Closure stops us from getting caught in a loop and shutting down. Pain and loss are normal responses to grief, but closure is important to begin the healing process and begin coping with grief.

How can a personalised memorial help you cope with grief?

When you think about your loved one, how do you remember them? Are they laughing while surrounded by friends and family? Are they at their favourite band’s concert? Or are they outdoors, chasing the sun?

Planning a memorial, or a funeral service after a cremation, that honours these memories and creates an experience that reflects the life, personality and passions of our loved one helps us find closure and cope with grief a little easier. A personalised memorial not only celebrates their life but allows us to choose how the chapter ends. Grief is often made more difficult because we have no choice in the outcome. A fitting service, on the other hand, allows us to plan a celebration that represents everything we loved about a person.

Coping with grief by planning a backyard memorial celebration
A backyard BBQ with AC/DC blaring on the speakers could offer a more fitting tribute to a loved one and help you cope with grief.

Bare offers an alternative method of honouring the passing of a loved one. A Bare Cremation centers solely on the cremation process, excluding any formal ceremony or viewing. This option grants families the freedom to choose when and where they would like to hold their own personalised memorial service after the cremation. However, it is important to note that if you prefer a traditional cremation,  with its accompanying ceremonies, that is perfectly okay and something our team can also help arrange for you. Each individual and family has the right to choose the most fitting tribute for their loved ones, and we’re here to make that process as easy as possible.

Bare has helped families farewell their loved ones in personal and meaningful ways. From BBQs at a surf club near the beach to AC/DC blaring on the backyard speakers, you can commemorate a person’s life in a way that they would have loved.

Creating an experience that represents a person and celebrates the way he or she lived can be one of the most powerful forms of closure. If you would like to write your own good-bye, get in touch with us anytime to find out how we can help.

Grief and bereavement support

There is nothing wrong with reaching out for help if you’re struggling to cope with grief. A place to start would be the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, providing excellent information on bereavement services available throughout Australia. But for more immediate help call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

More information on grief support is available on the Bare website, including our articles Experiencing grief on the death of a loved one and What to do when someone dies and Coping with grief and how a personalised memorial can help.

At Bare we don’t believe there is a single way to say goodbye to a loved one, which is why our Bare Funerals are flexible to ensure you say your farewell in the way that’s right for you and your loved one. Whether that’s a more traditional funeral service, or a memorial-style service that takes place after a direct cremation. If you have any further questions or to get a quote for a funeral service visit the Bare website or call 1800 071 176.