Dealing with Death and Grief

Dealing with Death and Grief
What does it mean to grieve?
Death is a hard reality and to lose a loved one can leave you experiencing great emotional pain. It is completely normal to find yourself reacting in a variety of ways and to find that your emotions keep switching, as you try and cope with this trauma.
Darren Cohen
Darren Cohen - General Manager
9 December 2019 | 3 minute read
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The complicated mixture of feelings you might experience after the death of someone important to you, is called grief.

You might even find yourself physically affected by grief, struggling to keep up routines like eating and sleeping, and getting ill.

What does it mean to grieve?

A famous psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross described what we now call the five stages of grief:

These stages describe different emotions you might feel. However, not everybody goes through all five of these emotions: some people might feel one of these, another might feel all five of these emotions, as well as many others. Also these emotions also do not happen in the order they are listed: someone might feel all these emotions all at the same time, or they might keep coming back to a particular feeling again and again.

The five stages include:

  1. DENIAL – We believe that it is impossible that the death of someone we loved is a reality. Often this comes from us being in a state of terrible shock.
  2. ANGER – We become furious that the death has happened. We want to blame someone or something for causing this terrible loss.
  3. BARGAINING – We try and negotiate with God or some kind of higher power to take the death away, if we give up something else.
  4. DEPRESSION – We feel so sad that we struggle to see the meaning or value of anything in life.
  5. ACCEPTANCE – We are able to admit the painful truth that the death has happened. We begin to work towards making our peace with this reality.

Remember:

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that there is no normal or set way to react to loss and death.

Nobody can tell you how to feel.

Nobody can tell you how long it will take to start recovering from your grief.

You do not need to feel that you must be strong and hide your emotions; rather it is important that you do express your grief and work through it.

Equally important is to remember that there is no normal way to show your grief: some people can’t stop crying; some people find they are so numb, they cannot start crying.

What can I do to work through my grief?

  • The most important thing you can do is be kind to yourself.
  • Give yourself the time and space you need to begin to heal.
  • Tell people that you trust, that you are going through a difficult time in dealing with grief. This will allow them to offer you the support that you need.
  • If you are a religious person, consider speaking to people from your faith group, who can offer you comfort.
  • Decide how best you are able to express yourself: if you do not like talking, consider keeping a diary and writing down some of your thoughts and feelings. Write a letter to the person who died as a way of saying goodbye.
  • Take care of your physical needs. Exercise can help clear your mind; eat healthily and get enough sleep.

What does it mean to move on?

Remember you are not trying to get rid of your grief – the death of your loved one, will always be a part of your life. What you do want to do is to be able to carry on progressing with your own life, despite your sense of loss.

When you finally do feel that you are able to move ahead, you do not need to feel guilty or that you are forgetting the person who has died.

Remember, even if someone you loved has died, your relationship with them continues: you hold onto the memories you shared and the life lessons they taught you; their legacy will continue to influence the choices you make in life.

However, if you feel that you are struggling to move on at all; are not able to focus at work or connect with others, you might have become clinically depressed and need professional help.

With Legal&Tax you’re not alone

Death is always difficult. Legal&Tax Services’ Funeral Plan offers a way to make some of the practicalities of this experience a little easier.We offer grief counselling on all of our funeral plans once you have made 6 consecutive payments. You or your beneficiary qualify for a once off grief counselling session if and where necessary.

If you are struggling to cope emotionally after the death of a love one, Legal&Tax Services’ Trauma Assist benefit can help.

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