Most people experience bereavement sometime in their lives and we all react to it in different ways. The emotions aroused may last a long time, or they can be short lived. They depend on many different factors, such as the type of person involved and previous losses suffered, or possibly the circumstances of the death of a loved one.

Grief can take the form of several clearly defined stages, over a passage of time, until acceptance is finally reached.

Many people feel that they have to hide their emotions in order to be accepted by others. They feel uncomfortable about expressing overt grief, particularly when tears and a loss of control are usually socially unacceptable. In our culture it often embarrasses us to see displays of feelings, whether they are of affection or of grief.

It does not help when well-meaning friends and family say:

"Time is a great healer"

"I know just how you feel"

"Don't worry it always feels better after a good night's sleep"

People need real help, not platitudes, when they face thoughts of not surviving the ordeal of bereavement. The pain felt, sometimes physical, sadness, depression, loneliness and the difficulty of carrying out familiar everyday tasks can be overwhelming.

If you have experienced some of the feelings that are mentioned above and would like to talk them through in a "safe and confidential environment," where you could speak freely, with a trained and experienced Bereavement Counsellor, call St John's Wood Synagogue's dedicated Bereavement line 020 7266 9179.
Susan Kosky