Just as death is a certainty, so too is grief. It is a universally shared experience and yet totally unique to each individual. Asking for and finding the right support for each person can be challenging. But it is available – Annie Broadbent, author of We Need to Talk About Grief
Grief (from thread on a 'Reddit' forum. Contributor unknown)
Supporting the Bereaved
Someone you love has recently been bereaved. You desperately want to be there for them, but you don't really know how. It can be a daunting prospect – supporting someone you care about through a time of so much pain, especially as there is currently not a huge amount of support available for the supporters. Finding the right words to comfort your friend, and knowing what you can offer to do is often overwhelming, confusing and sometimes quite frightening. Each person responds differently, and what they need from you will be further influenced by who it is that died, how they died, and what their specific circumstances are. But there are certain things that can help, and other things that might be best avoided.
A letter by Barack & Michelle Obama sent to the friends and family of Frankie Knuckles
Talking about Grief
We all experience grief in different ways. This will be influenced by a number of factors such as the type of death, the relationship to the deceased, and the age/culture/support network of the bereaved. Some people may find talking about their experience helpful, others may find it very difficult and it is likely that the bereaved will oscillate between the two. Things such as the Death Café offer a safe and welcoming place to talk about all things death, dying and grief.
The internet has changed the way in which we remember and grieve forever. It's important to bear in mind that this can be both supportive and also difficult for some people. There are now a range of online forums for those experiencing grief and various blogs of people's experiences which can be subscribed to.
Social media sites such as Facebook offer an online forum for people to share photos, memories of the deceased and invite people to funerals and memorials. There are also a range of online tools that enable you to express your grief overtly. Winston's Wish for example have a 'skyscape of memories' board which allows children to remember and express their emotions in a simple yet engaging way.
There are a range of resources and charities that specialise in helping us address and deal with grief. Some of those are listed below.
- Dying Matters being there' guide for helping the bereaved (UK guide)
- Help Guide's dealing with loss and grief (USA Guide)
- Annie Broadbent's publication we need to talk about grief (International)
- Cruse Bereavement care areas & branches (UK)
- Grief Encounter helping bereaved children (UK)
- Moyer Foundation supporting bereaved children (USA)
- Maggie's Centre's map of cancer support centres (UK)
Simple technology tutorials that you may find of interest
- Using iTunes playlists to decide which songs should be played at the deceased's funeral
Preparing for death on social media sites
- DeadSocial's '5 steps to sort out your Digital Legacy' Guide' (available in English and Welsh)
- Full Facebook Guide
- Full Twitter Guide
- Full Instagram Guide
- Full Linkedin Guide
- Full Google+ Guide
- Websites & Blogs Guide
Downloading your media & data from social networks
End of Life planning tutorials (general)
- Write a Will
- Write a Social Media Will
- Write an Advance Care Plan
- Securely Storing Your Will and other important documents