Dealing With Grief

Since my younger brother and father passed away within a couple of days of each other last July, I’ve been learning the difference between supporting others in grief and dealing with it myself. There’s a big difference between the two, I’m learning.

Of course, I’ve heard it all before:

  • “It’s something that will pass in its own time”…
  • “There is no right or wrong way to grieve”…
  • “You have to be careful you don’t lose sight of the other things in your life”…
  • “Remember to practise self-care”…

It and more continues to echo in my head as I lay sleepless in bed feeling totally unmotivated and sorry for myself…

I see people, who obviously care deeply about me, struggle to find words, some in tears; the words they do find we both know don’t even come close to touching me inside the ‘glass dome’ that has enveloped me… but at least I see their care…

I hear people ask me – ”How are ya?” – some don’t even realise what’s happened; others are probably hoping to hear me say that I’m all better now… What do I say? Do I…

  • Lie? – “Good! How are you?”
  • Tell the Truth? – “Well you know that my brother was my father’s full time carer, so when he died…” (hours later), “… and my other brother is stealing the family money…”
  • Half Truth? – “It’s been hard, but it gets better each day.”

What’s worked best for me in dealing with my grief is to do fun things, even if I mostly have to force myself to do them, especially earlier on. It’s my attempt to ‘rewrite history’ by replacing bad memories and thoughts with new better ones.

The other important component to this is to find ways to express my anger, wounding, sadness, and whatever else might be lurking under the helplessness that is my grief… lest it leaks out innocuously, inadvertently hurting my friends and others around me…

Yes, this person who has been in the ‘caring industry’ for over 15 years has had to ask others for help… OMG! I’ve even gone back to counselling… No short cuts or credits to grief!

If you’re a man reading this, perhaps, this is the right time for You to give yourself the space to truly grieve?

If you’re a woman reading this, perhaps you can pass this article onto a man you know who might welcome the opportunity to know there are other men out there grieving too?



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Mark Bradman is the Programme & Marketing Coordinator for the Essentially Men Education Trust