We are all faced with having to cope with bereavement, grief or loss at some stage in our lives, the death of a loved one is the most intense and painful grief that we are likely to suffer. There are other situations where people can suffer similar symptoms after loss.


These would be the loss of a pet, break up of a marriage or relationship, loss of a job, the loss of a business, or the loss of something that we have invested a lot of our time or emotions in.

There are different stages that people go through coping with loss; these can be different for everyone, and in no particular order. They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It’s important that people understand these symptoms and recognise when they are going through them. It’s important for you to give yourself a break from your grieving like time out with friends, or doing something you like to do. This will help you to allow the healing to begin. It is not selfish or disrespectfull to do this.


I would like to share a personal experience with you that gave me a different outlook on life, and on death, and hopefully made me better able to help other people cope with their loss and pain; I left home to come to work in Dublin when I was just 18 years old

I was staying in digs, I was very lonely and home sick and I knew no one.

A few weeks later I contracted pleurisy, I remember lying in the bed one night and I was convinced I was going to die, I was quiet prepared to go, no problem, my only concern and worry that night was, how my Mother would feel when she got the news.


I remember been invited to take part in a Late Late Show Special on bereavement when Gay Byrne was doing it and it went out on a Saturday night. I told that story.


Coming out of Mass the next morning, a mum who had just lost her son in a tragic accident, called me one side and asked to talk to me .she said “ I saw you on the Late Late Show last night, was that true what you said “ I assured her it was. She then asked me. “Did I think her son thought that way just before he died? I assured her in my experience he probably did and he would not want her to worry.


She seemed to get great comfort from our conversation. If you are suffering pain or loss at this time and you happen to read this I hope that you will get comfort too.