National Grief Awareness Week takes place from 2nd December – 8th December and provides a dedicated period for individuals, organisations and communities to come together and acknowledge the various aspects of grief.
Each individual experience of grief is unique and can depend on many factors. There is no correct way to grieve. Some may be able to find their own way through grief while others may feel the need for some help and support.
The Bereavement Support service at Beatson Cancer Charity can help, from information and advice to more structured support.
We spoke with 62-year old Lynne Gorman from South Lanarkshire, who attended our Bereavement group sessions this year after her husband died. She told us about her positive experience with the sessions.
My husband died last March, after being only diagnosed about two and a half weeks beforehand with pancreatic cancer. He’d only been really unwell for about 11 weeks, and then he died on 2nd March.
After a few months I had some 1-2-1 sessions, but it was just over the phone. That was good but over the phone is just not the same. I think initially you’re so busy and caught up in all the practicalities. Then my younger cousin discovered she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She was getting a lot of support from yourselves. She had a therapist and when she started receiving the support, you had just started your Bereavement Support service, and they gave her a number for me to phone.
I didn’t know what I expected it to be, but I was extremely anxious. The week before I went, I was worried about finding it and getting parked. I did a test drive to the venue and I was so glad I did.
I found the people were lovely. We were such a diverse group. We went from a young chap in his late teens to a man in his late 70’s. All very diverse backgrounds but we all just seemed to gel, and I think we all said one of the main things that came out of it was just being able to speak truthfully. We all felt like we had permission to cry openly.
The group came at the right time for me. Most of the people there had been bereaved for six months and I was over a year, but it doesn’t make any difference. Going to the group really helped me understand and also understand the mechanics of grief.
The girls were so nice and there were so many tears but there were also so many laughs. People would tell so many wee stories.
Just go for it, it was made so clear from the start that if this wasn’t for you or you don’t feel comfortable, you don’t need to speak if you don’t want to.
We were lucky that all six of us wanted to talk. We're trying to all meet up together, we have a wee WhatsApp group set up. Every one of us completed every week which was brilliant.
If anyone’s thinking of going, give it a go and if it’s not for you, you won’t be made to feel embarrassed or that you’ve wasted a place.
If you are an adult who has been bereaved through cancer and your loved one received care from the West of Scotland Beatson Cancer Centre or other west of Scotland hospitals, please get in touch.
For more information call 0141 212 0505, email Bereavementsupport@beatsoncancercharity.org or visit our Bereavement Support service page.