Grief and Loss Course
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Grief and Loss Course


Before this pandemic hit and the schools were closed, we were in the middle of running a Grief and Loss Course at Chamberlayne College, for students who had experienced a significant loss of any kind.

I thought I’d post about some of the content of this course for anyone who would appreciate it.

Hard Work

Within the course we talk about how grieving is ‘hard work’. It’s not just about ‘being strong’ or putting on a brave face. Going through the process of grieving is hard work, and uses up energy. It’s important to remember that it is very normal and healthy to feel sad, angry, despairing or even numb when grieving. We may feel differently day to day and that’s ok!

William Worden talks of 4 ‘tasks’ we have to complete in order to go through the process of grieving. I wonder if you can relate to any of these?

  1. To accept the reality of the loss; this can take a long time and can involve a process of saying ‘goodbye’ such as a funeral.
  2. To work through the pain of the grief; this often means experiencing, rather than bottling up, difficult emotions. It’s important to let ourselves feel how we need to feel, and to share those feelings with others so that we don’t feel alone in them.
  3. To adjust to a world without the deceased; this can take a lifetime, and we will need the support and love of others, as we try to get used to things being different.
  4. To find an enduring connection with the deceased while embarking on a new life; we can continue to live our lives without having to forget the person we miss. Perhaps we seek to remember them at key times such as birthdays, or we make a memory box so that we can feel connected to them while also accepting that they have gone.

Within the course we run, we talk about these things in much more detail, and it helps to have the support of others around us as we process some very big emotions. We think about what we do when we feel sad or angry in our grief.

What are some positive and negative ways of dealing with those tricky emotions?



Finally, as we spend time creatively recording and storing memories, such as through producing a memory box, we talk about how and where we can find comfort in difficult times. We look at psalm 23, a famous poem from the Bible which is often read out at funerals. It talks of finding peace in ‘still waters’ and ‘green pastures’. Imagine sitting looking over a beautiful, quiet lake, or lying down in a lovely green field on a warm day. How could we recreate those ‘spaces’ in our day-to-day lives? Young people sometimes talk of comforting music, a relaxing hobby or being in nature. If you have a faith, this may be your source of comfort when things feel stormy.



Covid-19 and Grief

Recent research has suggested that many of us who aren’t experiencing actual bereavement may still be going through many of the emotions and thoughts associated with grief during this pandemic, as we grieve for the life we are not currently able to live, and feel uncertain for our futures. Have a think about how you could process some of those feelings, or find peace in your every day.

The main message we try to get across within this course, and that is still true in the situations we find ourselves in today, is

You are not alone.


Some great resources if you want to find more support in this area are below:


As always, we miss you all, take care of yourselves and keep in touch!

Acknowledgements: Paul Woodman and Susan Lees, authors of the Grief and Loss Course




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