Death is a normal and natural part of our life, and so is grieving
Today sees the launch of Bereavement Is Everyone’s Business, a report by the UK Commission on Bereavement, which shows how bereavement impacts us all. From dealing with complicated administration, to coping with financial and housing insecurity, to how grief can affect schools or the workplace, bereavement throws up challenges in every area of life.
The report identifies many areas that need to change to offer people better bereavement support, and the need to do more as a society. One of the conclusions highlighted:
"We have seen that, for those who need it, there are significant challenges to accessing formal emotional support. There’s not enough of it, it’s not accessible to all who need it, and certain groups in society are particularly poorly served."
Our organisation, Grief Specialists CIC connects anyone grieving with professional support. We have qualified people with a number of different ways to help others with loss, such as bereavement counsellors, Edu-therapy specialists, Grief Recovery Method Specialists, reiki practitioners, nutritionists, hypnotherapists, and more.
All grief is unique and so should the help available be.
One size does not fit all. Ideally, we would like to secure funding to help people who can't afford to pay for professional help.
Although there are some wonderful charities out there helping where they can, the sheer volume of people suffering from loss is overwhelming for them and waiting lists for free counselling and support can be very long.
We've had people come to us who have told us they have to live with their pain for a long period of time before they're able to get the help they need. In our experience, it's never too soon to start work on a broken heart.
Teresa Mack, one grief specialist said: “Although we all will be confronted with bereavement at some point in our life, we are shockingly under equipped to deal with it. So are the people around us, who often don’t know what to say, or how to help.
“My friend’s experience when asking her GP for help, after her son died, was, “come back in
six months. If you are still grieving, we can look at getting you some help”. In America you're now classified as having a disorder if you are still grieving after six months.
“Death is a normal and natural part of our life, and so is grieving. However, sometimes grief gets stuck. Stuck, because we are not allowed or encouraged to share our emotions honestly. Stuck, because people have all different ideas of what is appropriate as an expression of grief, and now also how long that should take you before you are diagnosed with a disorder. Stuck, because funds and ideas for support are limited.
“Going through Covid, not having been able to say goodbye, professionals feeling helpless
when patients died in numbers never seen before by the generations of the present, and
mental health services under financial strains and recruitment crises are all indications, that
new solutions need to be found and presented to our society.”
The report also includes recommendations for schools, stating that all schools and other education settings must be required to provide age-appropriate opportunities for children and young people to learn about coping with death and bereavement as part of life.
In addition, all education establishments (early years, schools and further and higher education) must be required to have a bereavement policy including staff training, and a process for supporting a bereaved child or young person and their family.
Dr Victoria Wilson-Crane, an Advanced Grief Recovery Method Specialist said: “Charities aren’t resources that schools and colleges would naturally lean into. And teachers are ill-equipped to deal with grieving children. Training is essential but it should be something that is paid for and professional.”
This is an appeal to all responsible parties to take this situation seriously and invest in the
emotional well-being of not only people who need support now but also of future generations, who will all be affected by how well their parents and grandparents were cared
for in their hour of need.