All of us at one time or another will loose someone close to us. Coping with bereavement in any society can be a lonely and bewildering experience. The rituals and social customs of the past, the formal funerals and fixed periods of mourning that once helped to guide us through grief are gone. It can be that friends and relatives become paralysed by embarrassment often because they are not sure what to say or do.
In today’s society grief and bereavement are still taboo subjects, something which many people find very difficult to deal with. Very often after a period of time people expect you to have recovered but unfortunately a death takes time to come to terms with, which takes the time that it takes. There is no magic number of days, months or years after which you will feel better. It is a very gradual process.
Here in France, Cancer Support Haute-Vienne is an association which supports Anglophones affected by cancer. Sadly, very often the person who has cancer dies and the family, partner or friends are left. If CSH-V has been supporting a carer we will continue to support them in bereavement until they no longer need us. And recently we have been asked to support people who find, some time after the death of a loved one to cancer, that they are still struggling and could do with someone to talk to.
We provide specialist training to our Active Listeners enabling them to understand the five stages involved in bereavement, which include denial and isolation, anger, guilt, depression and acceptance and which the bereaved feel bewildered by and may feel ashamed of. But these stages are perfectly normal reactions to the death of someone you love.
If you find yourself in this situation and feel you would like to talk with someone in complete confidence please contact our helpline 0800 240 200. It is always good to talk.