The reason I talk so much about ‘healthy’ grieving is because I know from personal experience how debilitating unhealthy grieving can be. I also know one of the factors contributing to unhealthy grieving is isolation. In these times of distancing and  isolation, what can we do to try and make sure our grief is healthy? And how do we support our family and friends who are grieving?

A few months after my dad died, I moved to Abu Dhabi with my partner and our children. While our time did end up being a great experience, the first year was the most challenging of my life. I had travelled a lot and always wanted to live overseas with my children, but the timing was really difficult. There was no one there who knew that my father had just died of cancer, that I’d spent the last couple of years watching him go in and out of surgery, facing the many challenges, sitting with him through his final months. There was no one there who knew that both my parents were now dead, and I was the adult in my life. There was no one who had known my dad.

When you’re meeting new people, making new friends, you don’t really want to start the conversation: ‘oh, and by the way, my dad died a few months ago, do you mind if I spend the next hour crying in front of you?’ So although I could still go out and about in the world in ways we can’t at the moment, I was extremely isolated at a time when I needed people more than I’d ever needed them before.

So the first thing I want to say to you if you’ve come across this blog post is: I see you. I don’t pretend that I truly understand what you’re going through at the moment. But I know that if you are facing the death of someone you loved then you are probably finding it more confusing, more overwhelming and more lonely than a death in more normal times. 

I am currently writing some more lengthy pieces on grief and grieving, but in the meantime, I thought it might be useful to provide some links to some articles I’ve read recently that might help you to understand what’s happening, and point the way to some good advice and useful resources.

 

I will update this list as more is published. If you are in Adelaide or South Australia and looking for help to organise a funeral or memorial service, there is more information on my website here or please feel free to get in touch by phone, email or through the contact page, details here.