Coping with a case where the deceased was someone you did not get along with

coping with loss someone you didn't get along withIn many ways we here at FuneralSuggestions think that this article may be one our least popular. While it’s common for many to look into managing grief, planning funerals and finding new ideas for their own ceremony it’s relatively rare for someone to look up what to do when they are happy someone else has died. For most it’s a straightforward affair of just avoiding the entire process and staying away from everything involved. While this is indeed the norm there are some who for some personal or family reason need to be either involved or will need to liaise with those involved after the event. This guide is for both groups.

For more detailed information on managing your grief please see other articles in the “coping with loss” section.


When making introductions with people at the ceremonies try to avoid going into the details of your relationship and how it was not so perfect. For honest open people this can be hard however it really is not the time and for many it may seem like bad taste to talk about the deceased and his or her missteps. In high profile situations like where the deceased is an ex partner or business partner it’s likely that many will already know the nature of your relationship.

The ceremonies

While you may have mixed feelings about attending ceremonies there are cases where it’s pretty much unavoidable. This is especially if he or she had children with you and these are too young to take care of themselves. During the ceremonies it’s important not to feel obligated to carry certain emotions and you shouldn’t fight any sadness you feel, even if it is confusing.

The aftermath and liaising with others

In the aftermath you will have time and space to reflect on how the person impacted your life. Sure you may have some lingering anger and or bitterness but that doesn’t mean that you will not also need time to grieve. Sometimes when we have had long relationships with people they leave their mark on our psyches and at times we find ourselves surprised by how much their loss means to us.

Final thoughts

Grief and human loss are relatively mysterious human emotions and can hit us and stay with us in curious and unpredictable ways. The key thing to remember with the ceremonies is to maintain some dignity when talking about the deceased and try to allow yourself to feel if you do end up having some unanticipated emotions come to the surface.

To find a local grief service access and use ‘loss and grief’ or ‘bereavement’ as a search term (it can find services by State), then refer to the most local service.

Lifeline Crisis 131114 number,
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636.
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement: 03 9265 2100.

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