I had a friend come to visit and stay the night. She was very dear and close to my wife, we all studied together, worked together, spent many gin afternoons together. This friend is currently studying to become an acupuncturist, as part of her studies she is being taught how to actively listen and read body language to assist in diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Recently her and her husband had been on holiday with some of their friends, 2 of these friends had recently experienced loss and grief, the death of a partner, the suicide of a brother. Her friends talked of how they found it difficult as no one would talk about grief and loss, and lamented the constricts of culture and society. And then they stopped talking about it. My friend was really concerned by this, that they had brought this subject out into the open then shut it down. Her friends identified a problem they had but had no further way of exploring that and expressing themselves.

My friend then asked if I would be willing to sit with her and talk about grief and how it had effected me. We sat for hours as I let loose with all that we all talk of on here, the guilt, confusion, physical pain, isolation and on and on. It was a really illuminating conversation, my wife flitted in and out of it as things arose but mainly it was about the actual mechanics of grief. How it feels to grieve for a partner. The most interesting part for her was around the universals of grief, the shock we experience, the physical attributes, the loss of self etc. My friend had an established view that grief was unique to the individual and was surprised that people experienced common events, that they could relate to these events with other people in a similar situation. I explained about all the people I had met on here, all of us, and how reading and chatting, trying to help had given me a much deeper understanding of what I was going through and where I found myself.

Thinking about it now, I’ve just realised that the last time she came to visit we had a similar night talking directly of my wife and that was the spur that got me chatting on here. I note this as the next day she remarked on how much I seemed to have gotten on top of things in the last few weeks, that I seemed to have started accepting and growing, taking what I needed with me, leaving other things behind. After our night she felt as if she had a better understanding of grief and felt that there were now ways that she hoped she could help her two friends to start coming out of themselves and talk about the things they aren’t able to.

And so a massive thanks to all on here, all of you, us, who post and interact, allow people in to see our experience, it does help. My friend will now take all of the advice and support we give each other and she will try and apply it to her life, her friends and in the future her clients as an acupuncturist. I just wanted you all to know that your efforts to try and understand, to accept, to try and find yourselves are helping other people. Well done all of us for trying.


I definitely think talking about grief is a helpful way of processing feelings.
I also think peer support is invaluable. Being on this site has got me through the worst 7 months of my life.
It’s lovely to hear your friend will be trying to help others thank you for sharing. It was good to read something positive


I really do agree, talking is the best thing we can do for ourselves. It not only helps the person talking but it ripples out and helps others, who in turn can take it on further. Each of us arrives on this site desperate and scared, often scared of ourselves. I really hesitated before I began posting regularly, it took me time to overcome the feelings associated with exposing my grief, vulnerability, lack of confidence, pointlessness. But all of those doubts have fallen away, in some ways they have become strengths, new facets to be explored and understood. And it all comes back to community, understanding, sharing, helping each other.


@Walan you are so right all of our grief are unique to us. I also think talking about our grief helps and I am so glad that I have some good friends that listen to me though at times I am like a broken record repeating myself often and sometimes going around in a cycle.
I am also glad that I have found this site which helps a lot. I have met some nice people on here. I like reading your posts as so inspiring Xx


I found your posting very interesting and helpful. For me, talking to others who understand what we are going through, has been better than any book, although I have read a couple. Sadly, I know quite a few people who have lost their loved ones and they have been a source of great help and comfort.
To be able to post on here and share experiences is marvellous. I have learned such a lot from other people’s grief journey.
I think we touch on every subject possible which also gives us encouragement to do things we maybe not otherwise think about. Your cooking posts helped me to realise how awful my diet was and I have got better.


@Hazel.1966 I know what you means about the broken record, also I find that sometimes I just can’t shut up when I get going. But it all helps and it probably helps your friends as well, to understand you and understand themselves


@Rome18 I’m so glad that my cooking posts inspired and helped, they were the first posts that I did after my friend visited the last time and I decided to come on here and start talking. It feels good to know that we can help and inspire each other. As you say sharing even our darkest moments can help others to see what they are going through, that it is something that others have experience of, that it’s a normal part of the journey. that they can become unstuck and move forward.

I went for a walk to think about this one. I think it’s great that your friend is doing this and making an effort to find ways to communicate with others who have lost. And I need to investigate acupuncture for grief, as I fancy this.

However, I have friends who talk, friends I don’t want to talk and friends that shut down when I talk. I have experienced the lot. Old memories people resurrect are great, till they go and I’m l ft alone with my thoughts, I get offended when I bring Rich up and the conversation is cut short, mostly because this selection of friends didn’t know him so have no emotional attachment to him but do to me. But I do have a few friends and family who will talk about him in general.

This site however, has been by far the place where I felt more at ease, listened to and that’s because we have similar experiences.

Now I think bereavement has two parts, as you explained. The grief is one part, the loss another.
I’ve spent my walk trying to analyze and probably over thought.
The loss personal as different relationships, scenarios and situations.
The grief for that loss is as your friend said universal but why?
You’ve played with my head this morning :joy:


@Ali29 Sorry ALi didn’t mean to mess with your head so early in the day :grimacing: :rofl:

I hadn’t really thought of it the way you have described, grief one part, loss the other. But now that you’ve said that I can see that it’s sitting in plain sight in my OP. I guess that’s the beauty of this site, people see other things in what we have written and can relate that back to us. when my friend and I were talking about the process of grief, we came to the loose conclusion that it’s universal as it’s part of the human condition, we think we are a person, a self, but generally we leave it at that. We accept who we are. But talking with her she brought up ideas of story telling and narrative and how as humans this is the way we explain our experiences to ourselves and each other. It’s a tool box of analogies and metaphors that we all learn and apply without conscious decision. This is the universal, our shared experiences but more importantly our shared consensus. Our collective agreement on what reality and life is.

We are all unique within that structure, our journey through this situation is for each of us different and at times unrelatable. But we, the grieving, have a common understanding that there are by and large many similarities, that there are events that we can understand and relate to, each individually but also as community. Things such as guilt, the experience of shock, physical manifestations etc. Many of these we all experience but all in our own way, to me they are universals. Things that probably all of us will experience at one point or another.

such as friends and their reactions, I can relate to what you have said about the experience with your friends. At times now when I talk to people, I feel as if I am slightly removed from them, that I have a different understanding of life, that I have moved away from the consensus. It’s a strange place to be. In some ways almost an observer. I can say things and see how people now react in an almost scripted manner, the agreed reality, the agreed consensus. It used to make me angry as well but now I’ve come to see it as just part of the stories we tell each other to get through life. As I am coming to understand, this type of grief sets you apart the herd, but it is somewhere that a lot of people will eventually join us. I guess this is what I mean when I say that I can see how this experience, this change that we have all had to face can become a strength.


Thanks, you have a great way of putting things. It’s good to listen.


since my wife passed away I have no one to talk to . She was my best friend as well as my wife we were like one . I have family around me but they do not want to speak about my wife’s passing as it hurts to much . I understand that , but I feel totally alone in my grief with no one to talk to .


@Terry44 talk on here, day what you want, there’s always someone listening. I know it’s not the same as face to face but I it’s better than nothing.

I don’t know why people struggle to talk about things. They may be hurting but do they not realize you do too.

I do talk about my partner, where appropriate. I’ll keep him alive for as long as I can.

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@Terry44 I felt much same to be honest. At first I found it hard to talk to family or close friends, I couldn’t be sure of their response and I didn’t want to cause myself or them additional pain. As time has gone on I have tried to just tell people how I feel when I’m asked, sometimes they can’t deal with it sometimes they can. I found those willing to talk and we worked out how to do it together, not in a conscious way but just by talking (generally me) and seeing where it went. It’s changed my relationship with people I know, both friends and family, but I feel that this has to happen as life has changed so much for me. As Ali says being on here can help immensely, it may seem like a second best, but being honest there’s not much choice. It’s a new place we find ourselves in, for me the old rules no longer apply and it’s up to me to rewrite them to suit my situation.