Simplicity Funerals Grief Resources: Grief FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions: Dealing With Grief
The type of service and other items selected determines the cost of a funeral. An estimate of costs based on items and services selected is provided to the family by Simplicity Funerals. A funeral does not have to be an extravagant display as there are caskets and urns available at all cost levels to fit the needs of all families. All funeral homes are required to provide an estimate of costs.
What is grief? Answer
Grief is a natural, normal reaction to loss. It's an ongoing, evolving process that occurs over time.
Is my grief making me mad? Answer
It may certainly feel like it at times! Particularly if the individuals need to grieve is out of step with social and cultural expectations. Grief affects people physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. People may be required to make adjustments to their lives and learn new skills, at a time when they feel least able to do so. Receiving validation and permission to grieve is important in the recovery and healing process.
It's been months and I don't feel any better. How long does grieving last? Answer
The journey through grief is a highly individual experience. Rather than focus on a timeline it is perhaps more helpful to focus on its intensity and duration. Initially grief is overwhelming and people can feel out of control. With time people find they have more ability to choose when they access memories and emotions. The intensity of grief is related to the degree of attachment to the person, relationship to the deceased, level of understanding and social support from others, personality and the nature of the bereavement.
Some days I am feeling better, then wham, I feel bad again out of nowhere and find myself crying and hurting again. Why is that? Answer
You are probably experiencing what is known as a grief "spasm." These are intense, sudden spurts of emotion that can last just a few minutes or maybe a day, and are very common during the grieving process.
I'm not a group person. Are there other options for helping me grieve? Answer
While support groups are not for everyone, they can be surprisingly healing and comforting for those who've suffered a loss but are not generally group people. Be sure to refer to our suggested reading lists
and other grief resources
to meet your specific needs, including local grief support groups
in the San Antonio area.
Do I have the right to inflict the results of my grief on others? What can I expect of them and they of me? Answer
Others may feel intensely uncomfortable with the emotion and the pain of the bereaved to the point of feeling helpless. The anxiety this causes may mean that the bereaved person might feel they are being avoided - increasing feelings of isolation. It is important that the grieving person is assertive about their needs and wishes, and it is helpful if they communicate with family, friends, and colleagues rather than leave them guessing about what would be useful and comforting. Never underestimate the power of listening and being a warm presence. There are no magic words or actions. Trust your ability to care taking into account your relationship with the person you are trying to help.
Is there a right way and a wrong way of coping with grief? Answer
People are individuals with personalities and life experiences, which influence the way in which they deal with grief. People's style of grieving must be respected and in this sense there is no right or wrong way of coping. However it is generally believed that the amount of support people receive can ameliorate some of the impact of grief and facilitate recovery. People often have an awareness about what they need to do to feel better but feel inhibited or judged and don't act on their inclinations. Talking about what is happening, what they are going through, expressing emotion and being in a supportive and accepting climate is generally helpful. Both religious and cultural factors may impact upon a persons feelings of "right" or "wrong ways" to deal with their grief.
What are the stages of grief? Answer
Grief does not follow a linear pattern. It is more like a roller coaster, two steps forward and one step back. Ultimately people manage to integrate the experience to the point of having a new life arising from the old. The loss remains and is always remembered, but the intensity is no longer disabling or disorganising. Refer to our online article of the Loss Stages of Grief
Does counselling help? Answer
It is important to say that grief is a normal response to loss and that people work through the loss with the loving support of family and friends. However, for a variety of reasons it may be necessary to seek professional help in the form of counselling. Counselling may initially intensify painful feelings as the external distractions are removed, and the client is able to focus on their experiences and explore them fully. People who are grieving may need to talk about their story over and over again and are often concerned about the 'wear out' factor on family and friends, especially if details are very distressing. Equally they may find that others have unrealistic expectations of their recovery or experiences. Where people have to continue on in roles as parents or carers counselling may provide valuable time-out for their own need to grieve and receive support. A supportive, safe and accepting environment and time set aside regularly can make a great difference. It may provide comfort and hope at a time of great confusion and crisis.
How can I help someone who is grieving? Answer
Sometimes it is just enough to be with them - you don't necessarily have to say or do anything. Encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings. Ask, "do you feel like talking?" or "I don't know what to say right now, but I care." Help them recall the good times and don't avoid talking about the person they lost.
Other ways to help: Answer
- Allow for moments of silence and reflection. Don't try to fill in conversations with a lot of outside news.
- Listen in a non-judgemental and accepting way.
- Help them clean out their loved one's things when they are ready.
- Acknowledge anniversaries and dates of significance for the bereaved person.
- Offer practical and emotional support. Help by minding children, cooking a meal, assist them with shopping, cooking, writing thank you notes, even walking a pet.
- Prepare for difficult dates and times such as anniversaries, birthdays, holidays and meals.
- Most importantly, be patient and understand that grief takes time.
- Avoid the use of clichés such as "You should be getting on with your life.", "Think of all the good times", "You can always have another child".
- Mention the deceased person's name and encourage the bereaved person to talk about them.
- Understand that tears are normal and healthy part of the grieving process.
- It's important not to compare yourself to anyone else. Loss and the feelings it creates are very personal and unique to each person experiencing it. Even people who have lost the same person feel things differently because they are each different and their relationship to the deceased was different. You feel whatever you feel, and this is okay.
- Remember that grief may take years to work through.