Bereaved Families of Ontario - Durham
"Bereaved, helping the bereaved to learn to live with grief. We can help the healing begin."


FAQ

Grief comes in unexpected surges.....mysterious cues that set off a reminder of grief.  It  comes crashing like a wave, sweeping me in its crest, twisting me inside out, then recedes.  ~ Tony Talbot

What is the definition of bereavement?


A period of mourning after a loss, especially after the death of a loved one; a state of intense grief; desolation.

What is grief?


Each person's experience of grief is unique and individual.  Below are some common emotional, physical, spiritual and social indicators of grief:

 

  • feeling empty or numb                  
  • feelings of guilt
  • weight loss or gain
  • anger
  • sadness
  • confusion
  • shock or disbelief
  • sleep disturbances
  • shortness of breath
  • anxiety
  • weakness and fatigue
  • thoughts about your deceased loved one
  • unusual dreams
  • withdrawal from others 

How long does grief last?


There simply is not a time line that can be applied to measure or predict a person's grief. Grief lasts as long as it takes to begin accepting, understanding and learning to adjust to living with your loss.  Throughout this grieving process, being able to receive support is a way to care for yourself and help begin the healing process. The changes and transitions required by grief may generate feelings of isolation and increased anxiety. When the work of grief is approached with the intention of allowing grief to teach and inform us, these painful transitions and changes may help the grieving process.

Is showing my grief a weakness?


No, your grief is not a sign of weakness or poor coping skills, it is a normal and healthy part of the healing process.  To deal with grief and face the changes in your life, you may need to:

 

  • Talk about it (it will help let it sink in);
  • Look after yourself (eat, drink, sleep, get fresh air and try to avoid alcohol and sedatives);
  • Ask for help (don’t think you have to cope on your own);
  • Understand your friends (friends can be impatient so tell them what you feel and share your grief);
  • Be aware of advice givers (don’t allow people to entice you into replacing or avoiding your grief - e.g. going on holidays or buying a car);
  • Be prepared for ups and downs (memories sparked by birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions can bring you down.  You need to find a way to remember what brings you comfort - e.g. visiting the cemetery).

“You do not heal from the loss of a loved one because time passes; 

you heal because of what you do with the time. “  

~ Carol Crandall