While grief is regarded as completely normal during and after the loss of a loved one, we at Helderberg Hospice recognize that this may be a very challenging time for many people on various levels. We are often unprepared for the reality of the pain of our grief and wonder if what we are experiencing is normal.
How long does the grief process take?
There is no right or wrong period for grieving. We all work through our grief in our own way and at our own pace. Grieving is emotional work and involves adapting and adjusting to changed circumstances.
Grief is not the process of forgetting but of remembering with less pain
Many people may experience one or more of the following:
- Deep feelings of sadness, loneliness and missing the loved one
- Headaches, stomach problems, difficulty sleeping, appetite changes etc. (Have a check up with your doctor if you are concerned about any physical symptoms)
- Finding it more difficult to concentrate, and make decisions, feeling forgetful, unable to settle down or complete a task
- Sensing the loved one’s presence, seeing the person or dreaming of him/her
- A sense of relief that after the death of the person who struggled with a long illness, often accompanied by feelings of guilt
- Grief for the hopes and dreams you shared
- Feeling pressurized to ‘move on’ or to make changes in your life
- Anger towards the person who dies for abandoning you
- Anger towards God or questioning your faith
- Finding it difficult to socialize
- You may worry about crying unexpectedly
- Feeling the need to talk about the person and about death / illness
- Concerns that you don’t want to be a burden to others during this time
All these feelings and concerns are normal. Remember, we all work through grief in our way and at our own pace, so:
- Allow yourself time and space to grieve
- Try to eat a balanced diet and exercise appropriately
- Try not to make major decisions for at least six months eg. selling a house, moving etc.
- Don’t hesitate to contact Hospice if you would like to talk to somebody about your grief
Who can support you?
- Close Friends
- Religious / Spiritual Leader
- Psychologist or qualified counsellor
When the sadness over the loss of a loved one seems like it’s too much to bear, take heart – we understand and can support you
Helderberg Hospice Garden of Remembrance – A Place For Memories To Grow
In an effort to assist with the healing process after the loss of a loved one, Helderberg Hospice has established a Garden of Remembrance. This is a safe and tranquil place for members of the Helderberg community to visit and spend time remembering and paying tribute to family members and friends who have passed on.
We invite you to consider the following ways of placing a memorial in this garden:
- A tree, plant or shrub from our recommended list (available on request), or you can choose and existing plant in our garden
- A plaque is available for purchase, which can be placed next to the tree / plant / shrub, and will be engraved with wording of the donor’s choice.
- You are welcome to discuss any other ideas you may have to remember your loved on. For example, we have a wheelbarrow full of succulents which is a unique living tribute to a beloved husband and father, who made the barrow as a gift for his wife before he passed. You are invited to contact us to arrange a visit to the garden and to discuss your wishes: +27 (0)21 852 4608
Other Ways You Can Help
- Remember us in your will
- Support our second-hand shops
- Become a volunteer
- Join Club 1000
- Support our fundraising events
- Make a donation
- Tell people about our care and our organisation
- Get a MySchool card from Hospice