For grief counsellors, it's become almost a mantra: "There is no timeline for grief." This idea that there's a neat timeline of 'mourning', 'getting over it' and 'ready to re-marry' is not only wrong, it's directly harmful to those coping with grief. So many bereaved people beat themselves up for not being 'over it' yet, or for moving on too quickly. The truth is that ways of grieving are as diverse and different as the people grieving and it's nobody else's business how someone reacts to the death of their partner.
Writer for www.funeralzone.co.uk and specialist in death, dying and bereavement.
Jessica devotes her time to reading, writing and thinking about end of life issues, and is a champion of the view that talking about death is the best way to live a full life. Writing for www.funeralzone.co.uk, a free online resource for the bereaved, Jessica has a unique insight into death and grief in the modern age.
I am not a bereavement counsellor, but I do spend the vast majority of my waking hours reading, writing and thinking about grief. If Sarah and I were any less close as friends, I probably wouldn't venture to comment on her way of grieving.
22/06/2017 17:13 BST
I'm talking about tomb tourism. Many fellow taphophiles (that's a lover of gravestones and cemeteries) and I regularly take time out of our weekends to wander among the dearly departed, taking in the sights and sounds of the graveyard.
11/06/2017 19:24 BST
Slowly, painfully slowly, the good days were fewer and fewer, and our visits mainly consisted of us trying to make conversation with someone who barely knew we were there. My grandma would dutifully feed him biscuits when we visited. A woman in the corner of the day room, with white hair that stood on end, screamed periodically like a crowing rooster. The nurses seemed kind.
14/05/2017 17:28 BST
So why do people make these offhand comments? I think it's a way of denying our mortality. As much as we intellectually know that one day we will die, a deep part of our psyche is fighting that fact. When we say, "It doesn't matter", partly it's because we don't want to admit that one day, inevitably, it definitely will matter.
09/05/2017 12:22 BST
"I wanted to get a tattoo, I think to have a physical connection still with him. Yes, I claimed a hoody and a favourite shirt of his, but I wanted something to represent the fact that our love never spoiled. Something that marked me as his. I think if I was thinking rationally at the time, that's how I would have put my feelings into words."
27/04/2017 17:30 BST
Losing a child is one of the most painful, life-altering experiences anyone can endure. Surely, if anyone deserves to have an extra financial burden lifted, it is these parents? If we want to live in a society that helps the most vulnerable, that holds out a hand to those who are struggling to go on, how can we ever justify charging parents the cost of burying their child?
06/12/2016 17:27 GMT
Of course, every leap of progress should be accompanied by a little caution, but sometimes it feels as though we're far too willing to miss out on incredible improvements to our lives because we do not want to leave our comfort zone.
19/10/2016 17:11 BST
I was open minded, but couldn't help but feel that the whole experience would be incredibly awkward. Thankfully, Aly and her co-host, Gina Awad of Exeter Dementia Action Alliance, made it relaxed, friendly and thought-provoking. Here are just a few things I learnt in my two hours discussing all things death, dying and bereavement.
19/09/2016 13:19 BST
It is clear that mourning and grief are being moved into a digital space. It was happening before developers even realised it; social media became a natural extension of daily life and all its rituals. But what is not clear is if that transition has an impact on the value of those mourning behaviours. Can a virtual candle ever be as meaningful as a real one?
14/09/2016 17:37 BST
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more