Latest News

< >
Widow Speak

Five women talking about what grief is really like as a young widow. Thanks to Nicole at the Sydney Morning Herald for including me in this story."...

TedX - It's Time To Be Right Here

Check out my TedX talk "It's Time to be Right Here".  It starts with a story about when I was volunteer teaching in Cambodia and the school got its...

Beauty and Lace

Check out my interview with Beauty and Lace here.  We talked about putting plans in place to protect your kids, should anything happen to you.  It'...

Are You Your Biggest Cheerleader?

I was at a forum in my capital city, 1000 kilometres from my home, with property developers, mayors and other politicians.  I didn't know anyone el...

Postscript - Dying to Know Day

Thanks to Postscript for helping to start conversations about what we want to happen when we die. Check out my article they published for Dying to ...

Shouldn't She Be Over It By Now?

9 Oct 2015 10:52 AM - Do you know what to say to someone going through a tough time? How can you be there for someone who has lost someone or something precious?

In our society, we sometimes have unspoken expectations for grief.  For example, we might think it should be over within about a year, that it roughly follows a few stages and that eventually it’s all done with.  The person will ‘get over it’ and ‘move on’ with their life. 

Without realising it, we’ve created fixed ideas about how upset people should be and what types of things they should and shouldn’t do when they’re grieving.  I know I had all those ideas before my husband died.  I’d seen plenty of Hollywood movies and that’s how grieving happened nearly every time.

When you’re actually struck by grief though, all that goes out the window.  I couldn’t make my grief fit into any timeframes.  I had no idea how I was going to feel that afternoon, let alone next week.  And I definitely couldn’t make it stop when I thought it had gone on long enough.  If I tried, it just came out some other much more embarrassing way, in the supermarket or while I was at the bank.

I think we can make it easier for everyone – the people who are grieving and the people supporting them – by accepting that grief takes as long as it takes.  It doesn’t follow a neat, linear pattern and it won’t stick to a schedule.  It’s ok to take the time you need to do the things that work for you to get through it.  

People who are grieving don’t always need you to have the answers, because often there aren’t any.  A wonderful gift you can give to someone going through a tough time is just be with them, listen and create a space for sharing whatever’s happening for them in that moment.