Looking out for each other this Grief Awareness Week
December 2 to 8 is National Grief Awareness Week, a campaign to get people talking about this often taboo subject.
This is the second year The Good Grief Trust has run the campaign as part of its work to bust the taboo and help us all talk more easily about the pain we feel on the death of those we love and care for.
This year’s focus is on looking out for each other and reaching out across the physical distance of current restrictions to share our grief and to feel the support of others.
In times of bereavement the offer of emotional and practical support can really help those who are grieving to feel others care. Making a short call to ask how they are, dropping off a thoughtful gift, offering to run errands or just letting someone know that they and their grief matters, all helps.
Dudley Council’s public health website www.lets-get.com/explore/bereavement provides practical information and guidance on everything from how to register a death and the guidelines around funerals during covid, to more emotional support such as how people can help someone who has been bereaved.
It also offers suggestions of small steps people can take to look after themselves when they have been bereaved.
The team will also be releasing a series of videos on social media during the week featuring people talking about their personal experiences and what has helped them during the time when grief is most painful.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care said:
Unfortunately, every single one of us is going to experience the loss of a loved during our lifetime. It can be a painful, confusing and lonely time.
But we can help ourselves and those we care about by providing support for one another, whether it’s a quick phone call, talking about shared memories of the person they’ve lost, or simply dropping off a bag of shopping on the doorstep. It all helps the person who is grieving feel heard and supported.
It’s easy to shy away from talking about loss and grief. We can’t make the pain go away but we can help people feel they are not alone while they grieve.
The videos we’re issuing next week show people talking about their own experiences. I hope these personal stories help those who may be grieving at the moment and inspire others to reach out and support those who may really appreciate this.
Bereavement can impact any of us at any stage of life and the Let’s get bereavement pages feature advice and information on bereavement and coronavirus, bereavement affecting people with dementia, miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal loss, information for people bereaved by suicide and specialist support for children who have lost someone.
There is also signposting to local bereavement hubs, part of Compton Care’s Compassionate Communities approach – encouraging people to support one another by creating supportive environments which reduce isolation and improve the health and well-being of members of the community.