Living with Life’s Losses: A resource for people who have experienced a loss and are grieving and those who support them
The Living with Life’s Losses material is provided as an introduction to loss and grief for those people who are grieving and all those family members, friends, work colleagues, carers and clinicians (GP’s, nurses, counsellors, therapists, social workers, case managers and service providers) who provide care and support to those who have experienced a loss and are grieving.
This material has been put together to provide some information and ideas about appropriately responding to grief. The material is intended to provide an introduction to loss and grief. For those who seek further information links to other resource material are provided.
Loss and Grief
As well as bereavement, loss comes in many forms including relationship
breakdown, unemployment, chronic illness, homelessness, incarceration,
ageing or a loss that results from a traumatic event.
Following a loss it is normal to experience a period of grieving
and transition where the loss is integrated into the person's life.
When healthy grieving occurs people are able to achieve personal
wellbeing and resume their normal life. In contrast, a failure to
effectively grieve can result in diminished wellbeing and ongoing
disruption to life. Grieving is a complex process and someone's
capacity to grieve is influenced by the nature of the loss, their
personal resilience and the context of the loss.
Grieving is a deeply personal and painful experience, but the support
and understanding provided by families, friends and workmates can
be helpful. However, specialist support may be required when grieving
persists and becomes complicated. The experience of loss and grieving
can be especially difficult for someone who is socially isolated
or who is experiencing other significant difficulties in their life.
In the health and community service sectors clients present with
many challenging issues that require specialist support and interventions.
Experience has shown that when client's are dealing with issues
of loss, identifying and responding to a client's grieving can assist
in attending to their other needs. Experience has also shown
that loss and grief work is demanding on those who are providing
support and it is important for them to exercise self care.
With the support of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, NALAG has developed a package of loss and grief resources for consumers, volunteers, carers, clinicians and other stakeholders in the health and community service sectors. The material covers:
• Recognising loss and grief. • The health implications of loss and grief (physical and psychological). • Tips for managing loss and grief in everyday life. • How to support people who have experienced a loss and are grieving. • Looking after yourself when providing loss and grief support. • When additional support is required