1. It never goes away, but it changes over time. That grief is not a linear process, ever. In fact, it’s not even a process. That some days feel like a step forward and others like a hundred steps back.
2. The best way to support a grieving friend is to be the same great friend you always were, but with 25% more effort.
3. Grief is absolutely the price we pay for love. If you love someone, you will grieve for them. And we even grieve for people that we did not love if we have a strong connection to them in some other way.
4. All losses are valid, even the ones that other people cannot see or be told about. Your grief is your own and no-one has the right to tell you that you shouldn’t feel it.
5. Grief makes us human. And it makes us vulnerable. By recognising and validating our own grief, we become more resilient, more compassionate people ourselves.
Catherine Betley has been managing counselling services for over 20 years and bereavement care services since 2002. She is currently Managing Director of Professional Help, which provides staff care and counselling services and GriefChat, which offers bereaved people the opportunity to chat directly online to a bereavement counsellor free of charge. Catherine believes that grief education is vital to improving our care of bereaved people ad that everyone should be able to access timely, professional bereavement support if and when they need it.