Loss, Grief and Shock

In a Nutshell

Be gentle with yourself, it will take time.  Read the short and simple book Loss and Grief: Dealing with Life’s Crises.  Seek expert help from the many grief counsellors available to you locally (see below for how to find them). 

Grief is the price we pay for love.

If you’re old enough to love, you’re old enough to grieve.

Loss, grief and shock all effect sleep patterns.  Loss and grief are not just associated with death.

Some examples of Significant Losses include:

  • Death of a significant person,
  • divorce/separation,
  • relationship breakdown,
  • retrenchment/unemployment/retirement,
  • loss of health/amputation/organ loss,
  • loss of homeland/culture/language,
  • loss of a pet,
  • loss of possession/burglary/car theft,
  • disability/loss of independence,
  • infertility,
  • miscarriage/abortion/stillbirth,
  • adoption,
  • stolen generation/loss of identity,
  • losses associated with caring for someone with a chronic or life threatening illness,
  • loss of dreams/expectations/hopes.

Source: The National Association for Loss and Grief (NALAG) pamphlet.

The sorts of feelings which NORMALLY arise include (but are not limited to) sadness, depression, anger, resentment, a maze of mixed emotions, lack of energy and direction, a sense of losing control, chaos and trauma.

Speak to a Counsellor

There are counsellors available, especially trained to deal with loss and grief – and are readily available for use.  Some work independently, some work directly out of community health centres, and some are connected to local churches and other organizations.  Contact one.

It is important to know that you will recover, that it will get better.  People are trained and want to help.

To locate help contact The National Association for Loss and Grief (NALAG Inc.)
Website:  www.nalag.org.au
Email:  nalag@hwy.com.au
Phone (02) 6882 9222
Fax (02) 6884 9100
Their office is in Dubbo NSW, but they will happily link you up to a qualified grief counsellor in your area.

Talking about Death and Dying

Allan Kellehear is the author of the book Eternity and Me – The Everlasting Things in Life and Death, and is Professor of Palliative Care, and Director of the Palliative Care Unit at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.  He says that although everyone agrees in principle that we can and should talk about death and dying, it is still not commonly happening.  In some circles people have loosened up, but far too many still find it too awkward to talk about.

He says that suffering can offer you a way of looking at life which is both deeper and more lasting than ordinary, happy experiences, and can provide you with a robustness and flexibility in relationships which is hard earned, but not easy to come by.

For most, talking about it helps a lot (even though it’s challenging).
Restless, Light and Broken Sleep
Waking Up Too Early


National Association for Loss and Grief (NALAG Inc.)


www.depressioNet.com.au – which includes a 24 hour email service.

Post and Antenatal Depression Support and Information
Post and Antenatal Depression Support and Information

Domestic Violence

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement


National Association for Loss and Grief (NALAG Inc.)
Phone: (02) 6882 9222

Centrecare Counselling
Level 13, 133 Liverpool Street, Sydney
Phone (02) 9390 5366

Kids Help Line
Phone:  1800 551 800

Phone: 13 11 14

Postnatal Depression Helpline
Phone:  (02) 9794 1852 (24 hours)

Rape Crisis Centre
Phone: (02) 9819 6565

Abortion Grief Counselling (does not refer for abortions)
Phone: 1300 363 550

SIDS and Kids NSW
Phone: 1800 651 186

The front pages of the white pages also include many specific phone numbers beyond the ones provided here.