Understanding bereavement

Bereavement refers to the grief and sense of loss felt with the death of someone close. While bereavement is a natural response, for some people, it can be significant and prolonged.

Bereavement is an almost universal life event. The duration and expression of ‘normal bereavement’ can vary considerably, most people have the personal and social resources enabling them to cope. However, for some people, bereavement can be a very difficult process.

While death can be expected, the loss can still be a shock. Families will still feel grief and loss when an older family member living in aged care dies.

GPs are well placed to support family members and carers who may be struggling with bereavement.

Last updated 24 August 2021