Ways to cope with grief when a loved one dies

Grieving the loss of a loved one is a deeply personal journey. The effects of grief can impact us in ways we don’t expect. Having tools and tactics to manage your grief can help.

In this guide, our experienced Funeral Specialists share a range of coping strategies that help families manage grief every day. Try them out, find what works for you and consider sharing these resources with someone who might be struggling.

Four powerful coping strategies

Losing someone you love can be incredibly overwhelming. The truth is, we are often unprepared for the profound impact of grief, despite knowing that everyone’s time comes to an end eventually. But there are a handful of strategies that can help you navigate and move through grief.

Common questions about grief

How long does grief last?

Grief is a deeply personal journey that unfolds over time. We all experience it in different ways. Initially, grief may feel overwhelming and impossible to move past. But over time, it gradually becomes more manageable.

Certain milestones, such as birthdays and anniversaries, can be triggering as the years go by. But it helps to see them as an opportunity to remember your loved one and reflect on your memories with them. As time passes, you’ll find a way to heal and move forward while holding their memory close to your heart.

How can I help a child who is grieving?

Supporting a grieving child requires care, compassion and understanding. Create a safe and open space where they can freely express their feelings without judgement. Let them know it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions.

Using clear and age-appropriate language, explain the concept of death using simple terms that they can understand. Be present, attentive and patient as they process their feelings and do your best to answer their questions.

Teenagers may be particularly vulnerable when someone they know passes away. Consider seeking professional support from a grief counsellor or psychologist who specialises in working with children. With support and understanding, you can help them move past grief.

Why do people cope with grief differently?

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing loss and grief. Even members of the same family will mourn the loss of a loved one in different ways. There are a few factors that can influence these responses.

  • Personality and coping styles
    The type of person we are can influence the way we respond to grief. While you might prefer to grieve in private, someone close to you might find comfort in being surrounded by friends and family.

  • Cultural and social influences
    Each culture has its own unique mourning practices, rituals and ways of honouring the departed. Recognising and respecting these cultural differences is essential in understanding why people grieve in different ways.

  • Past experiences
    Past traumas or unresolved grief can influence the intensity or duration of our grieving process. If you find yourself struggling with grief or are concerned about how a loved one is coping, please reach out for support. You can contact Griefline on 1300 845 745 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

It’s important to remember that grief has no set timeline, and everyone's experience is unique. By being patient with yourself during this time, you can begin to move through the stages of grief and begin to heal.

At White Lady Funerals, we’re here to support you and your family through loss and grief. Our dedicated team is available to support you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also find a list of support services, counsellors and support groups here.

This information is based on our interactions with grieving families and resources we have collected over the years.

More help and information

Grief support

A collection of support services, hotlines and resources to help you manage your loss.