Grief Awareness Week 2023Posted on: 1/12/2023
National Grief Awareness Week 2023 takes place between 2nd and 8th December. The campaign is dedicated to raising awareness about how we cope with grief, how you can help others cope, and ways to raise awareness and end the stigmas many people have about those that are grieving. The theme for this year is, ‘Better Together.’
What is grief?
Most people experience grief when they lose someone or something important to them. Bereavement, grief and loss can cause many different symptoms and they affect people in different ways. There's no right or wrong way to feel.
As well as bereavement, there are other types of loss such as the end of a relationship, losing a job or a decline in the physical or mental health of someone we care about.
What are symptoms of grief?
Some of the most common symptoms of grief include:
- shock and numbness – this is usually the first reaction to loss, and people often talk about "being in a daze"
- overwhelming sadness, with lots of crying
- anger – towards the person you've lost or the reason for your loss
- guilt – for example, guilt about feeling angry, about something you said or did not say, or not being able to stop your loved one dying.
We often think of grief as a strictly emotional process, but grief often involves physical problems, including:
- lowered immunity
- weight loss or weight gain
- aches and pains
These feelings may not be there all the time and powerful feelings may appear unexpectedly.
You should see your GP if:
- you're struggling to cope with stress, anxiety or a low mood
- you've had a low mood for more than 2 weeks
- things you're trying yourself are not helping
How to deal with the grieving process
While grieving a loss is an inevitable part of life, there are ways to help cope with the pain, come to terms with your grief, and eventually, find a way to pick up the pieces and move on with your life.
- Acknowledge your pain
- Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions
- Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you
- Seek out face-to-face support from people who care about you
- Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically
- Recognise the difference between grief and depression.
What support is available?
You do not have to go through the grieving process alone. There are lots of ways to get support, whether you prefer to talk to someone in person or to join an online community.
The following organisations provide listening services and practical support to people dealing with grief:
- Samaritans – Call the Samaritans on 116 123
- Cruse Bereavement Care – Call their helpline on 0808 808 1677
- Mind – Call Mind’s Infoline on 0300 123 3393 or visit their urgent help tool here
- Sue Ryder – visit their online bereavement tool here.
We hope you found the information in this article useful. Remember, you are not alone when grieving.