- Cancer Information
- Advanced cancer
- Understanding grief
- How long will it last?
- After the funeral
After the funeral
The period after the funeral can be challenging. Between the death and the funeral, you may have been surrounded by family and friends, and kept busy making arrangements.
It may not be until after the funeral that you feel the full intensity of your grief. Everyone else may seem to have returned to normal, but your life is forever changed. It will take time to create a “new normal” for yourself.
Friends and family sometimes make comments such as: “Life has to go on. It’s time to pick yourself up and get on with living.” Such messages may feel like criticism, as if you are being told not to grieve anymore. Often the person making the comments feels uncomfortable themselves about grief or may have particular ideas about the right way to grieve.
If you feel like you are being told to rush your grief, try to connect with people who are more understanding. Those who were there alongside you when the person was dying may have particular insight into your experience. You could share this information with them so that they develop a better understanding of grief and how to support you.
You can also consider joining an online or face-to-face support group. Talk to the social worker on your palliative care team or at the hospital, or call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out what support is available.
Kate Jurgens, Bereavement Coordinator, Southern Adelaide Palliative Services, SA; Gabrielle Asprey, Cancer Support Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; A/Prof Lauren Breen, Psychologist, Curtin University, WA; Rev David Dawes, Manager, Spiritual Care Department, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Rob Ferguson, Consumer; Karen Hall, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Joanna Mangan, Psychologist, Cancer Council Queensland; Kate Reed, Nurse Practitioner National Clinical Advisor, Palliative Care Australia; Maxine Rosenfield, Counsellor and Educator, NSW.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Emotions and cancer
People who are affected by cancer in some way can experience a range of emotions, that can be very challenging to deal with at times. Learn more.
End of life
This information may help you better cope with end of life, or support someone who may be dying with cancer