Bereavement - a personal experience


My grandfather passed away this morning.

It didn’t come as a shock; he was in and out of hospital over the last few months after being diagnosed with throat cancer. Nethertheless, it was a difficult thing to hear.

My sister called me on my way into work. I could tell she had been crying from her voice, and from this, I expected the worst. As she explained what had happened, I remember not being able to really think or feel.

I was numb to it and saw things very objectively. My main thoughts were about how it would affect my family. He passed away peacefully in the early hours of the morning with my father by his side.

After arriving at work and processing the news, I was still very unsure how I felt. I was definitely sad, but I think I had already accepted that it was going to happen. I sat down and just started to work. It felt good to get into the routine surrounded by my upbeat colleagues. I started to feel much more settled.

I had a conversation with the office manager explaining what had happened and that I might be a bit quieter during the day. She asked engaging questions about what had happened but was careful to avoid difficult topics. After letting me know she was there if I needed anything, I then continued with my workday. I started to feel a bit more myself; it really helped to talk about it - a problem shared is a problem halved.

I started to think about the time I spent with him in my childhood. I’ll always remember his laugh, it was very wheezy, but always genuine and happy. I hadn’t seen him since I hit my teenage years, but it is strange that the option of meeting up with him again is no longer there. I think this is the hardest part, before, I could have bumped into him in the pub, but now it’s no longer a possibility.

When I knew he was getting ill (he was admitted back into hospital with a throat infection), I was planning to go and see him. I didn’t manage to make it before he passed, but I almost feel better it worked out this way. I want to remember him for all the fond memories I have of him from my childhood, not struggling in hospital and feeling weak.

Even as I write this, it’s still sinking in, I still feel a bit disconnected and confused, but I feel more in control. We weren’t very close and I think that’s why it’s difficult to work out exactly how I feel. I think as more time passes, I’ll come to better understand my feelings and work out how to move on.

If you are struggling with the loss of a loved one, please reach out and speak to someone. If you want to talk to a professional, you can use our search tool to find a counsellor in your local area. 

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