Death is something that comes to us all. The one certainty in life apart from birth. Yet instead of birth which brings in the main joy to parents and families, death brings existential pain which is labelled grief.

It floors us when someone close to us dies, and indeed sometimes when it is someone not so close. Yes I use the word ‘dies’, not passed away or passed over, or just passed. No wrapping up in vague platitudes. The main thing about dying is that it is part of life’s journey. Sometimes it is premature, due to illness or accident, sometimes it can be traumatic and unexpected, but whatever the cause it is something we should not be afraid of or embarrassed to talk about.

Whilst our individual experiences and emotions are unique, the process of grieving has many common options for all. Even the death of an elderly person causes pain however expected the death may have been.

There are various models to explain what happens when we hear of a death. All I know is that to some extent, depending on our relationship with the deceased, it comes with emotional distress of differing types.

This can be:


It’s okay to feel any or none of these. Grief can be described as a wave that hits us when we aren’t expecting it. Many people say they are confused and overwhelmed by the power of these feelings, even when the connection with the person is not close.

The key is that whoever has left this world it’s okay to talk about your reaction. Just because it isn’t a celebrity or royalty that has elicited mass outpourings of shared grief, he pain you feel is valid an acceptable. Don’t be afraid to speak about it: show sadness, cry, or express how you feel. Death is sad, moreso for those left behind after a natural phenomenon.

So talk about it. It may well do you good.