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Grief and Loss Services - Social Work Services - The Prince Charles Hospital (Queensland Health)

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Grief is the normal, healthy process of coping with the death of a loved one, or the separation from someone we have highly valued in life.

This journey of grief can be frightening, painful and sometimes lonely.  It can include physical distress as well as emotional distress.  It is a journey which is different for every person.  It is not predictable.

Each person's grief is unique and each person will grieve in a way which is right for them. 

Grieving can be hard work.  This is a time to reach out to others for comfort and encouragement as you allow yourself the time and compassion to mourn.

Caring for Yourself

  • Accept that the feelings you are feeling are normal.  These feelings can be both physical and emotional.  Some people can feel quite overwhelmed by the degree of physical anguish.
  • Allow yourself time and space to express your feelings.  Crying is a good release of emotions.
  • Allow trusted friends and relatives to give you help by:
    o    Talking and listening with you.
      Assisting you with daily practical tasks.
  • Understand that your concentration can be affected by your emotions - it is not wise to make significant decisions at this time.
  • Be patient with yourself; you will have good and bad days.
  • Over time, understand that most people in extreme grief are able to reconnect meaningfully with life again
    o    There is no time limit on grieving
    o    Celebrate your loved ones life
    o    Cherish the memories
      Your loved one will always be very much part of your life.

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Helping someone who is bereaved

Encourage the person to share their feelings and their memories.  Grief is experienced by men and women, boys and girls, young and old.

Bereaved friends can feel they are a burden or that they are intruding.  Offer practical and emotional support.  However, some people may decline help even when it is needed.

Don't try to hide your own grief.  You may also have been a friend of the deceased.  Do not be afraid to show your own grief.  Crying together can be a way of sharing your experience.

Show the person that you haven't forgotten them.  A card or a phone call on special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas can be very comforting.

You don't have to rely on words.  A squeeze of the hand, a touch on the shoulder, an embrace is sometimes more comforting than words.


Bullet point  Social Work Services - Bereavement Follow-up

If you require assistance during this time, please ask staff to contact the Social Worker (telephone 3139 4443).

They can assist you with immediate help at the time of death of your loved one.

Social Workers offer support, education and referral to community agencies as needed.

A referral to a Social Worker in the community can also be arranged to assist you with long term grief support if needed.

For a list of counselling services in your local area, click on the icon below or try looking in the white pages:

 Image of people holding hands  Counselling Services   (PDF 10kb)

Bullet point  Grief and Loss:  Growing Stronger (The first 24 hours)

Many people experience a range of emotions when they know someone has died.  This booklet is designed to help you understand some of the feelings you may be experiencing.  Click on the icon to the left to read the booklet.

 Growing stronger  Grief and Loss: Growing Stronger   (PDF 100  kb)

Bullet point  Practical Guidance When Someone Has Died

The time following the death of a loved one can be particularly confusing especially if the death was sudden and unexpected.  To assist you with the practical matters, we have prepared this guide to help you through this difficult time.  Click on the icon on the left to read this guide.

 Image of characters holding jigsaw puzzle pieces  Practical Guidance When Someone Has Died   (PDF 330kb)

Bullet point  Needing Help After Someone Has Died?

This booklet is a guide to the options and payments from Centrelink to support you if you need assistance after someone has died.   It also provides a useful list of whom to notify after someone dies.  If you would like further information, you can contact your local Centrelink office in person, or visit   Click on the icon on the left to read this document.


Link to booklet - Needing Help After Someone Has Died

Needing Help After Someone Has Died (Centrelink website)

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Last updated: 21 December 2012