By Elizabeth Postle, RN, HV. Pittwater Senior of the Year for this website and her book: A Healing Hug for Alzheimer's Caregivers.
If you have come to this website because you are
suffering grief due to a bereavement or loss, first of all, may I offer you my
deepest sympathy. I hope in these pages to show you ways to
feel more positively about the experience that you or a loved one or
friend is going through. With a combination of information,
experience, advice and common sense, I will share with you what I
have learned in my lifetime of nursing and help you to
cope with your sadness.
I'm not trying to explain grief to anyone. Most people reading
this will know it all too well. I can't understand how you feel, only
try to help a little by walking along the lonely pathway with you for a
while. Hanging onto life, to a glimmer of hope, is something we do, even when we
don't always know why.
For those who are trying to help, and express their sympathy, we will also show you the way.
"I believe that we need to give the bereaved
permission to live again."
Why should you listen to me? I started my
nursing career aged 16 and helped people deal with death for my whole
career. I worked with mothers and babies, right through to
terminally ill patients in the hospice I ran for 15 years.
helped their families and relatives cope with the loss of their loved
ones, whether it was a miscarriage, a cot death, a terminally ill
child, a mother, father or a grandparent. Now in my seventies I have
lost my parents, my brother, and recently my husband of 52 years. I know from personal experience as well as over fifty years of
comforting the bereaved what helps and what doesn’t. You can read more about me here.
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In this video, I explain why I have written this site, and what you can do to cope with your loss.
Each life is a miracle of nature, a contribution
to the universe.
Life, whether it be 3 weeks or 90 years, is valid and
precious. Let’s be realistic about it. Accept that we
are suffering loss because we loved someone. Celebrate the
quality of that life, as it’s quality not quantity of years that
If you are grieving it’s because you loved someone,
and that’s very special. Queen Elizabeth II said, after the
bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, “Grief is the price
we pay for love”. I feel it’s time someone says that each
individual's life is very special, but life spans are varied and
they are not in our control. We need to learn acceptance. We need to value
and treasure the love we have experienced and continue to love those
that we still have in our lives.
We need to give ourselves
permission to get on with life. Laugh, enjoy life, though never
forget those we have lost.
Life is a privilege, not a right
Much of the information in books and on the Internet
dwells on the negatives of grief. They tell you it’s normal
to feel many things, and it is. What many of them don’t do is
offer practical advice on how to start to feel better. That is
what I would like to do in these pages.
Every bereavement or loss is different. Whether you have lost
a child or a husband, wife or partner, a parent, or a grandparent what you may be feeling will be very
varied. I aim to cover as many experiences of loss as I can in
these pages, so that you can find some comfort for your
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Types of Grief:
Grief covers many circumstances. It is clear to
everyone that you are mourning if you have lost a family
member, a child, a partner or a grandparent. But what about
miscarriage, loss of your health, the children leaving home, job
loss, divorce, loss of a pet? There are many ways in which we
suffer loss in life, and some of these are not really recognised by
society, so you may feel that you are suffering alone. This
site aims to help all those who are suffering grief of whatever kind. And to help you feel better.
The quality of your life is important
Many people feel that unless they are miserable, in
sustained grief, it shows they didn’t care. This is just not
true. Real love leads to a happy and fulfilled life.
Families need permission to enjoy their own lifespan however long or
short that may be. They need to start to live again as soon as
possible – live a good and happy life in memory of the lost one.
Some people might feel that you are not showing enough grief.
That is their problem. You know how much the lost one was
loved, and you are remembering them by living well, making the most
of every precious day as they would have wanted you to do. We
need to let parents enjoy the siblings that are left behind.
Sadly this doesn’t always happen. The deceased are put on a
pedestal, while the living are forgotten.
Only you can do it
There is so much unnecessary guilt around. We
need to allow people to forgive themselves for upsets before the
loved one died. Forgive yourself for any imagined wrongs.
Mourning pathways are sad, a major part of the
grieving process. You will get through them. You are
coping for you and the loved one. They would have wanted you to live and enjoy the rest of your life.
Life is all about today. Live and enjoy today.
Plan your next day, but know that tomorrow never comes. It’s
all about today. Enjoy your family, friends, hobbies and what
you are doing today. Yes, think about the lost loved one,
acknowledge your grief, wish they were with you to share. But
enjoy your memories, share and laugh about anecdotes of their life
and their character and personalities.
Don’t be miserable about your loss. Celebrate
the life they had, the love, the joy they brought into the family’s
If you are finding it difficult to do this, get
help. Look at the following pages and learn how to get through
the tough times. It can be done, but don’t panic and don’t
be ashamed or feel bad if you can’t get there straight away.
You may need more support.
Choose a page to get started:
Planning the funeral
How to deal with grief
Helping children with bereavement and loss
Other types of loss - including divorce, job loss, loss of health
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Comforting Quotes and Sayings
Books on Grief - Including my own book on the stress of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's.
Have You Considered Online Grief Counseling?
Get Private and Confidential Help in the Privacy of Your Own Home
The following information about online counseling is sponsored by 'Betterhelp' but all the opinions are our own. To be upfront, we do receive a commission when you sign up with 'Betterhelp', but we have total faith in their expertise and would never recommend something we didn't completely approve.
Do you feel alone and sad with no support and no idea how to move forward? It can be tough when you are stuck in grief to find the motivation to get the most out of your precious life.
Online counseling can help by giving you that support so you don't feel so alone. You can have someone to talk to anytime you like, a kind and understanding person who will help you to find meaning in life again, to treasure the memories of your loved one without being overwhelmed and to enjoy your activities, family and friends again.
- Simply fill out the online questionnaire and you will be assigned the expert grief counselor most suitable for you. It only takes a few minutes and you don't even have to use your name.
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- Contact your counselor whenever you like by chat, messaging, video or phone.
- You can change counselor at any time if you wish.
- Click here to find out more and get started immediately.
- Or read more about how online counseling works here.
Sales from our pages result in a small commission to us which helps us to continue our work supporting the grieving.
Hypnosis for Grief - 10 Ways It Can Help You
Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind. Learn how self-hypnosis can help you cope with grief at any time of the day or night.
Read more about it here.
Create an Online Memorial Website
Honour your loved one with their own memorial website. Share photos, videos, memories and more with your family and friends in a permanent online website. Free for basic plan with no ads.
Find out more here.
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