Coping with the 4 stages of bereavement

Coping with bereavement – planning your loved ones funeral ceremony

There are stages of emotional upheaval during the bereavement process, you will have to deal with them each in turn. Know that you are not alone, others have experienced the trauma bereavement brings. They want to support you during this difficult time. Coping with bereavement can be a mammoth task and planning your loved ones funeral ceremony can feel daunting, that is where I help my clients.

As a funeral celebrant I want to make the arrangements for your loved one’s funeral ceremony as easy for you as possible. I will be there for you, offering an empathetic ear, ensuring we reprent the true person in the eulogy we craft together. IF you are stuggling to cope with bereavement – planning your loved ones funeral ceremony is not the easiest task, but I am there to help you.

To continue to support you, here are some pointers on how the grief may unfold over the coming weeks, months and even years. My promise although it may not be simple it will ease in time.

4 stages of bereavement

When we experience the loss of someone dear in our lives it will dramatically affect our day to day life. Sometime these shifts are forever.

Loss that leads to bereavement

Along with loss comes bereavement – a range of feelings over time that arise from that loss. Its our ability to deal with these stages that impact us.

If you are facing a significant loss yourself, or are seeking to support someone who is going through a major loss, you may notice a pattern of bereavement that is common for many people.

The four stages of bereavement

There are four common stages of bereavement:

  • Shock & Numbness
  • Unable to accept
  • Depression
  • Renewal

Grief is individual, and the way and order in which we grieve will vary.

Stage 1: Immediate reaction of shock

As soon as the death occurs, and over the following hours and days, you may be in a state of shocked disbelief.

Alternatively, instead of immediate shock, you may be rather calm and detached.

Either reaction is natural and understandable.

This phase immediately follows a loss to death. The grieving person feels numb, which is a self-defense mechanism that allows him or her to survive emotionally in the immediate aftermath of loss.

Stage 2: Yearning and Searching – Unable to accept

At this stage, you may think that the person you have lost is still physically with you.

You are unable to accept the loss, and at some level are denying that the death has occurred.

Also referred to as pining, this stage is characterised by the grieving person longing or yearning for the deceased to return to fill the void created by his or her death. Many emotions are experienced and expressed during this time, such as weeping, anger, anxiety, preoccupation, and confusion

You may make mistakes that may confuse or frighten you. Examples include:

  • waking up and expecting them to be lying next to you.
  • going downstairs in the morning and expecting them to be in the kitchen as usual, lovingly preparing breakfast for you.
  • laying a place for them at the dinner table.
  • calling the family down for dinner and calling their name out too.

This might freak you out a bit, but it is all normal. Daily habits are so deeply ingrained that they will continue to be part of your day.

Stage 3: Dispair – Depressed and Lonliness

No matter how many people are around you, or how much support you receive, you will have small moments or even long periods of time when you feel lost, alone and confused.

This could span across many many months.

The grieving person often desires to withdraw and disengage from others and the activities he or she regularly enjoyed during this phase. Having accepted the reality of the loss, the bereaved’s feelings of searching and yearning become less intense while feelings of apathy, anger, despair hopelessness and questioning increase.

  • You may :
  • Question your own faith, your faith in God, faith in other people, and even faith in yourself.
  • Lose interest in everything and may want to shut yourself off from the world.
  • Ask yourself whether even your own life is worth living.

This may be a very heavy and lonely time.  Even this phase passes.

Stage 4: Renewed strength and focus Recovery

Eventually, as the pain eases, you find yourself being able to think about the person you have lost, without feeling sad.

This is a chance to recommence life with a renewed sense of strength and focus.

n the final phase, the grieving person begins to return to a new state of “normal.” Weight loss experienced during intense grieving might reverse, energy levels increase, and an interest in returning to former or new enjoyable activities returns. Grief never ends but thoughts of sadness and despair diminish while positive memories of the deceased take over.

Because everyone grieves in his or her own way and own pace, there is no specific or “usual” amount of time in which people experience/complete these phases. In some cases, receiving bereavement counseling and/or joining a bereavement support group can help a grieving individual move through the phases more fluidly.

You could continue with old interests, or you could take up new pursuits.

Do you feel disloyal to the person who has died?

Remember that they are always a part of you, and you can allow yourself to enjoy the present.

There was a man whose wife had died. They had been married over 25 years. 18 months after she died, he took up salsa classes and started dating. He had discovered how to have fun again and his spirit was renewed.

From shock to strength: it does get better

From the moment the death occurs, you may feel grief and sadness, but you may also experience feelings of anger, fear, self-pity or even panic.

You don’t need to hide them – they are a part of your bereavement.

Share these feelings with a sympathetic listener – it does help.

Some of your friends may avoid you – this happens. its likely your friends feel embarrassed because they don’t feel sure and don’t know what to say. Be understanding. Take the first step and let them know you need their support.

Grief is a very isolating process – we feel as if no-one could possibly experience what we are going through. But millions of people around the world have been through it, and they are doing fine now.

Whatever stage of bereavement you are at, remember that the pain will pass and life will again be full of strength, focus and joy.

Benefits of Working with A Celebrant for your Wedding Ceremony

Wedding Celebrants in the UK – Celebrant hosted wedding, offers you more choice and customisation of your ceremony

If you are planning your wedding, its good to know that a modern wedding now doesn’t have to be the strictly traditional affair it used to be, things are changing. Couples now have a better choice of saying “I do” at  a wider range of places and not just licensed venues. You can hold your ceremony at any time and on any day of the week with the help of a wedding celebrant. Wedding celebrants in the UK can help you to plan out your ceremony content and conduct the fully personalised ceremony. 

Legal requirements for marriage in the UK

 To be legally married in the UK you need to obtain a licence from your local council registry office. You will also need two witnesses to see the document signing too. To have an authorised person to carry out your marriage means couples must choose between: an approved religious ceremony, a registry office, or a civil ceremony at a licensed venue. But you can do it slightly differently now by working with a wedding celebrant, which will also let you save £££s in the process. 

A Celebrant lead ceremony overcomes the current restrictions on the ceremony content

The ceremony is the most important part of the wedding day. Couples can now make both the ceremony and the reception as individual as they please. Some couples are perfectly happy to have that sense of occasion that comes with following the traditional vows and order of the ceremony set by someone else. The reality is that traditional ceremonies are likely to be very quick, and with restrictions on readings, music, vows and sometimes even photographs. If you opt for a civil ceremony you won’t be allowed to include any content that’s related to religion, such as hymns (even as quotes), Bible references, or even songs that indirectly refer to religion. In some cases, churches will not allow photos to be taken during the ceremony, or they restrict the photographer’s access. Working with a wedding celebrant can help you change all that.

Personalise your ceremony, your way

Now there is a way to have exactly the ceremony you want – by hiring a Wedding Celebrant. Many brides don’t know about wedding celebrants in the UK, but they have been around for over 40 years. In England, Scotland and Wales you must be legally married first at the registry office (this costs around £50 to obtain your marriage licence) You are then free to work with your celebrant to design the wedding ceremony of your dreams.

Using a Wedding Celebrant allows you all the flexibility you require. You will be able to have your wedding wherever you choose. It’s entirely up to you how the whole occasion reflects your personal beliefs and lifestyle. You will choose your own vows, readings, poems, music, decor and anything else you fancy, without restriction.

How to choose a wedding celebrant

Jacqui Tillyard Wedding Celebrant

  • Find a celebrant who really resonates with you – it’s wonderful to have someone you really like performing your ceremony.
  • Arrange an initial face-to-face meeting with the celebrant. This is a good chance to see the celebrant’s demeanour, speaking style, and whether they’re friendly yet professional. Ask all the questions you want. They should be able to advise on things you are unsure of, and make appropriate suggestions.
  • The Fellowship of Independent Celebrants who provide a network of qualified celebrants throughout the UK and beyond. Their website www.foic.org.uk lists all their trained professional celebrant members, all of whom carry £5million Public Liability Insurance. Expect to pay upwards of £450.00 with possible travel expenses on top.

How to arrange a celebrant wedding

  • Arrange for an official registration of your marriage at an applicable registry office. Here you will legally become a married couple. It costs a fraction of the price to just obtain your marriage licence. You can save a fortune by not having to hire a registrant to attend a licensed venue, or hiring a ceremony room at the registry office. There will be a basic fee for filing the marriage application, then another small fee for a basic ceremony on a scheduled date with two witnesses. You should check with your local authorities for applicable requirements.
  • Meet with celebrant to set the date for your ceremony, define the overall structure and programme, how you want to enter the venue, the vows, other readings, speeches, music, flow and timings. You can even discuss releasing balloons, or a rose or sand ceremony, or involving your pets! Your celebrant will draft your vows for you and review and finalise the ‘order of service’.
  • Schedule and hold a rehearsal with your celebrant.
  • Get ready to say your ‘I do’s”!