Palliative Care Queensland

For over 25 years, Christopher Hall has been the Director and Chief Executive Officer of Grief Australia, a government funded specialist bereavement service which is based in Melbourne, Victoria. He is a psychologist who has developed a specialisation in the field of grief and bereavement over the past 30 years.

In this episode of Grief Tending, we discuss how adult children can support older family, relatives or friends who are facing bereavement. We explore how simply showing up and offering practical supports can sometimes be far more helpful to older people in contrast to focusing solely on the emotional aspects of grief, or recommending mental-health interventions as a default. Chris also reflects on how family and friends can either be a source of help, or a significant hinderance for grieving people when experiences of ambivalence, estrangement or trauma are present during bereavement. We discuss suggestions for supports which may be helpful when very complex family dynamics are present. Finally, there is exploration of how personalised family traditions (grief practices) can be incorporated into family life as a way of expressing love for someone who has died.

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