The Grief of the Newly Bereaved

Can anything in life be more devastating than the death of our child? Our sibling? How do we comprehend the enormity of what has happened? How do we cope in what feels like a hostile new world?

We are often totally unprepared for the reality of grief and not knowing what is ‘normal’ can cause further anxiety.

Early reactions to grief can include:

  • Shock
  • Loss of concentration
  • Denial
  • Withdrawal from everything
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Intense emotions such as anger, uncontrollable crying, guilt and sometimes swinging from one emotion to another in short periods of time
  • Loss of appetite or emotionally overeating
  • Feeling as though you are ‘going crazy’

Grief is like having a jagged stone inside oneself; as time passes the jagged edges gradually become smooth, but the stone remains.

Unexpected situations you may have to deal with following a death may include:

  • Loss of friendships due to unrealistic expectations, insensitive remarks or being avoided
  • Dealing with the Coroner’s Court including the process involved and when to expect a report
  • Cancelling a mobile phone contract
  • Dealing with a change of circumstances such as a child who required a high level of care and lots of contact with people and all of this disappearing immediately
  • Closing Facebook and email accounts
  • Financial matters such as life insurance, debts, assets etc

Avenues of Support

Bereaved Parent and Sibling Support Centre – located in Canterbury, in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, where you can meet other people in a similar situation. Drop in and see us.

Helpline, 24 hours, 365 days – grief-support phone line provided by members who have been trained as peer-support volunteers. Call us, or we can call you.

Support and social groups – run by bereaved parents and siblings, who have been trained as TCF volunteers, at various locations around Melbourne and regional Victoria. Find a group here.

Time-Out Program – A range of accommodation options to provide members needing a ‘time out’ from the grief and stress of everyday living after suffering the loss of a loved one at a low cost

Bi-monthly magazine.

Library and support media – TCF has a library at our centre; a website with guest book page; and is on Facebook

Grief and loss information for bereaved parents and siblings

Family and friends – Treasure those people who allow you to talk about your loved one, cry as you need and provide you with unconditional support.

Contact The Compassionate Friends Victoria for more information and support

Phone (03) 9888 4944, Country Victoria Free Call 1800 641 091