talk about grief, marc le penn, prince harry grief
Where to talk about grief without feeling judged. Photo: @marclepenn

The thought of talking about grief is much more daunting than doing it. The latest proof of that is Prince Harry’s recent interview about the effects of losing his mother at the age of 12 and trying to cope with that loss by blocking his feelings for a couple of decades.

When put like that, talking to someone about it seems like the quick and easy step. Yet, most of us prefer to block grief and pretend that it doesn’t affect us. But it does and the longer we live in denial, the more damage it does to us and the more difficult it becomes to overcome it.

Here are five places where you can talk to someone about your grief without being embarrassed and feeling judged:

5. Facebook’s “closed” groups

Facebook may have its pitfalls but its “closed” groups feature is very helpful in connecting you to others who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

These groups are created and moderated by people affected by grief and every member is vetted before they are approved to join. The moderator is likely to ask you about your reasons for joining but once approved, you are free to share your story with the other members, ask questions or just read what others have to say. The groups are completely private and your other Facebook friends won’t be able to see what you share.

The Lost Peony Facebook group is one of those small “closed” grief groups.

4. Helplines

Good old-fashioned helplines are still the preferred option for many of us. It takes a long time to pluck up the courage and dial the number but once you do and get an answer, the conversation will develop naturally. You can say as much or as little as you wish and the people on the other end of the line are trained to listen to you without judging you.

A simple search on the Internet or in the phone book will help you find the right grief helpline.

3. Face to face chat

The “closed” groups on Facebook could be a good place for networking too. If you join a local grief group, you are likely to find a “grief buddy” who lives in your area. Taking your online conversations to real life is a natural next step. Ask them for coffee, a meal or just for a walk in the park when the time is right.

You already have that online bond over grief and taking things into real life won’t seem like such a big deal. You also won’t feel judged or embarrassed to talk about your issues.

2. Talk to someone you know

There is a good chance that you already know someone who has lost a loved one recently. Reach out and ask them for a chat.

1. See a counsellor

Even if you go through all of the other options on this list, talking through your issues with a professional grief counsellor is the best thing you can do. They don’t have a magic pill or a phrase to make your grief go away BUT what they do have is the skills to listen to you and encourage you to “dig deep” into the roots of your issues.

This is normally a paid for service but there are charities that offer it either free or at reduced rates.

Where to talk about grief without feeling judged – conclusion

Remember that the worst thing you can do whilst grieving is to block your emotions and pretend that you are fine. That strategy may work in the short term but it’s not a solution. You must face your fears and give your grief a voice at some point. The sooner you do that, the sooner you will be ready to move on with your life.

PS: If you are not ready to talk about grief yet, then consider starting a grief journal. Think of it as a dumping ground where you offload anything that clouds your mind and prevents you from living the happy, and healthy life you owe to yourself, and to the memory of the loved one whose loss you grieve.

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