Common questions about grief
In this section we answer common questions about grief.
Learn more about:
- Why do I feel so alone after the funeral?
- How long will grief last?
- Why do some things make the grief worse?
- Why do I feel so up and down?
- Will it always be this hard?
- What if I feel ‘stuck’ or desperate?
- How can I remember someone?
Living with grief raises many questions. We discuss how long grief might last and what to do when grief feels overwhelming.
Why do I feel so alone after the funeral?
The time after the funeral can be challenging. Between the death and the funeral, you may have been surrounded by family and friends, and busy making arrangements. After the funeral, you may feel the full intensity of your grief.
You may find that other people don’t check in with you as often and their lives seem to have returned to normal, but your life is forever changed. It will take time to create a “new normal” for yourself.
How long will grief last?
You might think that you’ll be back to normal after just a few weeks or months, and others might expect this of you too. Try to be patient with yourself. Many people are hard on themselves, thinking things like “I should be over this by now”. Grief is very individual – there is no set time frame or stages. Allowing yourself to grieve is the best way to heal.
Friends and family might say, “Life goes on. It’s time to move on.” Such comments may feel like you are being told not to grieve anymore. People making these comments may feel uncomfortable about grief or may have particular ideas about how to grieve. There is no right way to grieve. At times, you may hide how you’re feeling so others don’t worry about you. Share how you’re feeling with people who are more likely to understand. Those who knew the person may be more empathetic.
I think time does heal, but the pain is still there and you just learn to cope with it. Sometimes I still cry out ‘Why?’ Darren was so full of life and never complained about anything; I’m still amazed at how he coped with it all.Troy
Podcast: Coping with Grief
A/Prof Lisa Beatty, Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology and Consulting Clinical Psychologist, Flinders University Institute of Mental Health and Wellbeing, SA; Sandra Anderson, Consumer; Dr Alexandra Clinch, Palliative Medicine Specialist and Deputy Director, Palliative Care, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Royal Melbourne Hospital, VIC; Christopher Hall, Chief Executive Officer, Grief Australia; Nathan MacArthur, Specialist Grief Counsellor and Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, Sydney Grief Counselling Services, NSW; Linda Magann, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Palliative Care, St George Hospital, NSW; Palliative Care Australia; Richard Upton, Consumer; Lesley Woods, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA.
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