extends far beyond the initial turmoil of arranging for the
Memorial and settling the affairs of the deceased, and opens many
opportunities for spiritual growth. Some learn that they can feel
angry at God, even deserted, and often through struggling with
have their faith strengthened. Many also experience the comfort
an omnipresent Spirit throughout their grief. The gifts of grief
teach important lessons about the richness of living.
should provide an atmosphere which enables those who have lost
a loved one to grieve in a natural manner rather than
suppressing it until a later time, which can be detrimental physically
and emotionally. Many Friends find it helpful to keep a journal
tell their story again and again. Attentive listening is very important.
Friends can also help by accepting all feelings expressed, by
providing practical and spiritual support, and by encouraging the
bereaved to nourish and care for themselves. This is an appropriate
time for personal indulgences, but not for making major decisions.
Intense grieving often lasts a year or more. Overseers should be
alert to depression, sleeping problems, or changes in weight of
persons grieving more than six months. They should be prepared
tell those grieving about helpful literature and community
resources such as professional bereavement counselors and grief