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Communicate During Family Loss - Funeral service

Understanding Grief: Am I in shock? And how do I move past it?

June 17, 2022

Losing a loved one is a tough time in many people’s lives. From intense grief to the shock of its finality, it’s important to know stress is completely understandable.

Whether this was a surprise passing or at the end of a prolonged illness, there tends to be a feeling of surprise at the depth of our emotions. There are many personal and circumstantial factors that can impact our coping skills at this time, but learning more about grief and how to manage it can help you process this shock. 

Read on to learn more about processing loss, and how an experienced funeral director in Perth can make this hard time a little easier. 


Symptoms of intense grief

Everyone’s body reacts differently to stress, but the moments and days directly following a death can cause what’s known as an acute stress response. Acute reactions tend to be fast and short-lived; the following symptoms are key signs to look out for:


  • Physical pain: symptoms can include headaches, nausea, chest and abdominal pain, trouble breathing, and an elevated heart rate. 
  • Dissociation: a feeling of numbness or detachment from the people around you, or the blocking out of painful information or memories  – typical around the time of Perth cremations and funeral services.
  • Avoidance: an intense urge to avoid triggers that remind you of your lost loved one, such as people, places, objects, and conversations. 
  • Flashbacks: intrusive flashbacks of painful events in the form of bad dreams, memories, unhappy thoughts. 
  • Heightened anxiety: Intense feelings of anxiety or alertness; feeling unable to calm down, concentrate, or sleep.  
  • Depersonalisation: feeling outside of your body, looking at yourself as an observer.


Moving past shock and denial

Intense shock as well as denial are the first stages of grief, and the hardest to overcome. While the emotions can feel all consuming, remember time heals and your body will move on and begin to accept the loss after the funeral or Perth cremations have occurred.

There are seven widely accepted stages of loss and dealing with the accompanying grief. Supportive Perth Funeral Directors can play a key role in helping families through these stages; remember they tend to overlap and don’t always occur in the same order:


  1. Shock, denial
  2. Guilt, pain
  3. Bargaining, anger
  4. Loneliness, depression
  5. An upward turn
  6. Working through emotions
  7. Hope, acceptance.


Acceptance and hope with Perth funeral directors

While these emotions no doubt feel devastating, it’s important to try bear in mind these are typical reactions to loss, and you are not alone. Working with an experienced funeral director in Perth to arrange a send off for your loved one can be a great opportunity to channel your passions into celebrating and appreciating the life they lived. 


Coming together to commemorate a life can be a transformative healing period, sharing memories and stories of your mutual loved one. Communal feelings of grief are a powerful means for overcoming acute stress responses.


Empathetic Perth funeral directors

Perth Cremations and Burials are leading providers of caring funeral services, providing family and loved ones with an irreplaceable lifeline for directing your feelings of grief into a positive celebration of life. 


Contact us today to discuss the wide range of services offered, or to speak to a knowledgeable funeral director in Perth.

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