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Grief as a sign of having loved well

Grief and letting go

Grief can be such a profound and intimate thing; unique for everybody and yet experienced by everybody, to one degree or another, at some point in our lives. Grief is usually associated with the

death of a loved one, and indeed this is often the most profound and searing form of grief that affects us. However, anything that involves the loss of something important and dear to a person's heart necessitates grief; the loss of a pet, moving home and leaving behind a familiar place, the loss of a way of life, seeing one's children grow and change, and so on. All too often, it seems that life's losses are brushed aside and made to seem insignificant, perhaps by those who are closest to us, and yet to us they are real and raw. There are so many emotions, thoughts and bodily sensations that accompany grief, perhaps the most hauntingly familiar one being deep and profound sadness. Anger, rage, disbelief, denial, searching and longing are also familiar and dreaded emotions that accompany the sadness. There are often times when the grieving process seems as though it will never end, especially

when we find ourselves mired in depression or even, perhaps, despair. How do we begin to make sense

of grief and allow ourselves to let go? Each person is unique, so therefore the time scale and way of working through bereavement is unique. It is so very important to be gentle on ourselves as we allow ourselves to be carried through the grieving process, and I use the words carry through quite deliberately. In a sense, the grieving journey is also a spiritual journey into the unknown and sometimes frightening abyss. It is our task to let ourselves go and trust that we will emerge from the journey forever changed and yet somehow more at peace, with a deeper level of compassion and a greater understanding of ourselves and others. There is an unending cycle of birth,

life and death which is common to every living thing on Earth, and I sense that within every human person there is a kernel of hope which instinctively understands, that with every sunset and dark night there must follow the sunrise and a bright morning.

James Rand James is copy-editor for Designs for LIFE

Celebrating a life lived

The passing of a loved one is a profound event in our lives and planned services to commemorate the individual lost is a tradition honoured by many, but religion need not be the focus. As civil celebrants, we dedicate

ourselves to offering a completely bespoke service, creating a personal celebration which captures the very essence of an individual; the ideologies of the person conducting the funeral need no longer restrict families. We can help you to hold a unique ceremony, inclusive of readings, poems, blessings, music, or prayer – whatever you choose. Working with families and focusing

on their values enables us to create and deliver a service which shares the treasured memories, the tears, the joy and the hope.

Steven Latchford 9

Steven Latchford is a fully trained and qualified celebrant. He offers a professional personal service dedicated to help people regardless of their nationality, culture or faith. Contact him at Latchford Civil Celebrants on 07513 725427 or email

Latchford Civil Celebrants

For a unique and personal funeral ceremony

contact us on 07513 725427

celebrating life

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