When a loved one passes away, there is no one blueprint for grief and how to cope when someone dies. There may be elements of grief that seem to affect everyone at some point in our journeys, but the panorama of emotions we feel is unique after someone passes. There truly is no normal way to grieve.

That said, we can find ways to nurture and honour our grief and explore healthy ways to manage the grieving process. This article offers advice on coping with grief and being kind to yourself during one of life’s most difficult challenges.

What is grief?

Grief is one of the most human things you can experience. It may be defined as emotional suffering in response to when something or someone you love is taken away. Often this suffering takes the form of intense pain, but it can also manifest in many different ways. Have you ever helped someone who is grieving? Do you remember seeing their disbelief, guilt, anger or profound sadness? You may also remember their physical state, often fragile and vulnerable, in response to their loss. These are all completely normal reactions to loss.

What is the grieving process?

The grieving process is the way in which we cope with loss. You may have heard of the five stages of grief, but you do not have to go through each stage in order to heal. Some people are able to find peace without experiencing denial, anger, bargaining or depression. 

One of the most important things to remember is that there is no schedule for grief. We need to be patient with ourselves and accept the waves of suffering that come and go, as well as lean into the gratitude and intimacy we will experience with friends and family who help us along the way. Whether your experience is measured in months or years, it is important to respect your experience and work towards closure.

Why is closure so important?

Closure is a fundamental part of the grieving process. If we do not find closure, we will not be able to accept what has happened and be at peace. Closure is like finishing the chapter in a book. It does not mean that the book has finished or what happened in the previous chapters has been forgotten. It simply means moving on to the next chapter, honouring the past while accepting the present.

Closure stops us from getting caught in a loop and shutting down. Pain and loss are normal responses to grief, but closure is important to begin the healing process.

managing grief by planning a backyard memorial celebration
A backyard BBQ with AC/DC blaring on the speakers could offer a more fitting tribute to a loved one.

How can a personalised memorial help?

When you think about your loved one, how do you remember them? Are they laughing while surrounded by friends and family? Are they at their favourite band’s concert? Or are they outdoors, chasing the sun? 

Planning a memorial that honours these memories and creates an experience that reflects the life, personality and passions of our loved one helps us find closure. A personalised memorial not only celebrates their life but allows us to choose how the chapter ends. Grief is often made more difficult because we have no choice in the outcome. A fitting memorial, on the other hand, allows us to plan a celebration that represents everything we loved about a person.

Bare Cremation can help by allowing you to take back control of your loved one’s narrative. Rather than a traditional cremation involving a ceremony, viewing and funeral director, a no service cremation, also known as a direct cremation, does not require a funeral director, a viewing, or even a specific location. You can choose where and when to hold your memorial, giving you the freedom and power to mark the passing of your loved one with a memorial that is uniquely theirs.

Bare Cremation has helped families farewell their loved ones in personal and meaningful ways. From BBQs by the beach to AC/DC blaring on the backyard speakers, you can commemorate a person’s life in a way that they would have loved.

Creating an experience that represents a person and celebrates the way he or she lived can be one of the most powerful forms of closure. If you would like to write your own good-bye, get in touch with us anytime to find out how we can help. 

Grief and bereavement support

There is nothing wrong with reaching out for help. A place to start would be the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, providing excellent information on bereavement services available throughout Australia. But for more immediate help call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

More information on grief support is available on the Bare Cremation website, including our articles Experiencing grief on the death of a loved one and What to do when someone dies and Coping with grief and how a personalised memorial can help.

For more ideas on ways to personalise a memorial, read our articles 10 Alternatives to a Traditional Funeral Service and How to plan a memorial with a cremation.

If you have any further questions or to get a quote for a cremation visit the Bare Cremation website or call 1800 071 176.

About Bare Cremation

Bare Cremation is Australia’s best direct cremation service. Our mission is to ensure every Australian has the option of an affordable, seamless and stress-free funeral service that can be arranged online or over the phone in minutes, at a fraction of the price of traditional funeral homes. We’ve cut out the need to go to a funeral home and made a complicated process simple by offering an affordable, transparent and easy alternative. Find out more by visiting the Bare Cremation website.