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Dealing with Grief & Loss of a Loved One

The process of losing a loved one is never easy. It’s important to remember that everybody copes with loss differently, there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. You may experience all kinds of unexpected emotions or you may experience a feeling of numbness. That’s ok too. Here at Westpac we’re here to help, that’s why we’ve put together some helpful tips on dealing with grief and some useful online resources that may help.

May 2021 – 3 minute read

Key takeaways from this article:

  • How To Deal With Grief
  • What You Can Do For Others
  • Adjusting to Life After Losing A Loved One
  • How Westpac Can Help
  • Useful Resources
dealing with grief

How To Deal With Grief

Coping with the loss of a loved one can be one of life’s biggest challenges. Grieving is a personal experience and it affects everyone differently. It can be affected by your personality, life experience, faith and the significance of the loss.

One of the first things you can do is allow yourself to grieve. Heightened emotions are completely normal and there’s no shame in it. It’s also important to remember that there’s no timeline on grief, it can be as quick as a couple months or it could take years.

Remember to seek out support from those close to you, it’s good to process your emotions and an effective way to do that is by talking about it. It’s also important to remember to take care of yourself physically. Exercise and being active can release endorphins into the brain which may help to regulate mood as well as act as a welcome distraction.

Lastly, if it’s all feeling like it’s a bit too much, we recommend reaching out to a professional. Talking to a therapist or a grief counsellor can be extremely helpful during times of grief. We have included a list of resources below that may be useful.

What You Can Do For Others

It can be a painful experience watching someone you love go through the grieving process. The feeling of wanting to help but being afraid of intruding or saying the wrong thing is common, but don’t let that stop you from reaching out to someone who’s grieving.

Remember your loved one needs your support during this difficult time. Don’t expect to have all the answers or say all the right things, the best thing you can do is be there and support them however they need.

Be sure to let the bereaved talk about their feelings and accept their emotions, no matter what they might be.

Adjusting to Life After Losing A Loved One

How do you adjust to your new life after the loss of a loved one? How long does it take to grieve? The answers to these questions aren’t easy and there no right or wrong answer either. Adjusting to your new life will come at your own pace and its never wise to put timelines on these things.

The period after the funeral is often a difficult time. The period between the death and funeral is usually kept being busy, making arrangements and surrounded by family and friends. Once this period is over you may find yourself alone and experiencing the full effects of grief. Everything will seem like it’s gone back to normal and it’s time for you to create your new ‘normal’.

We can’t say this enough, you can’t rush these things. Take your time. Talk with friends and family. Don’t be afraid to seek the help of a therapist or grief counsellor.

How Westpac Can Help

During the bereavement process, Westpac is here to help. There’s a lot of work to be done when managing the deceased’s estate.

From gathering essential documents to notifying the relevant organisations, our estate management team will do all they can to help. If you’re unsure of the first step, visit our Bereavement Guide or if you have any other questions take a look at the Deceased Estate FAQ’s.

Useful Resources

Australian Centre for Grief & BereavementLargest provider of grief and bereavement education in Australia

Beyond BlueAustralia’s most well-known mental health support organisation

Lifeline24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention service

Social ServicesGovernment Assistance & Support

Steps After Losing A Loved OneStep by step guide on what to do when you lose a loved one.

CentrelinkFinancial support after someone close to you dies

Birth, Death & Marriage Registry - register your family member or friend’s death

Australian Funeral Directors AssociationFind a Funeral Director

Loss of a Loved One Support Guide (PDF 632KB) - A comprehensive 30 page guide supporting you after the loss of a loved one.

Estate Planning Checklist (PDF 92KB) - A comprehensive checklist which details all the steps needed to plan what will happen to your estate when you pass.

You may find these useful

Bereavement Guide

Find guidance on the steps that need to be taken after losing a loved one, starting with gathering essential documents.

Notify us of the loss of a loved one

How the banking and wealth products of bereaved customers are affected after the notification of a bereavement.

A Glossary of terms for the bereaved

Need help with terminology? We have a glossary of terms which can help you make sense of the jargon.

Things you should know

This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

© Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714