Study finds 23% grieve alone



Grief is a tough issue.  It is not linear and does not follow any time lines or schedules.  Grief is unique.  And, there is no doubt that each of us grieves differently. . . .and, differently in different death scenarios.  For instance, you may grieve a death of a great aunt who you have seen very little over your lifetime very differently than you would grieve the death of your parent or spouse.


This article which touches on a survey from Met Life out of Great Britain has concluded that a full 23% of bereaved adults grieved alone.   That number, 23%, came in as the second most noted result when asked who to turn to.


In essence, almost one out of 4 adults did not know where or who to turn to, or chose not to turn to, for support that could help them.  The report also pointed out that 39% of those grieving turned to their spouse or partner.  That was the #1 response and “Friend or Neighbor” also came in at 23% to tie for second among responses.


One of the other interesting findings of the survey found that “only 3% or respondents confided in their employer or boss.”


Here is a list of who bereaved adults turned to for help with grief:

  1. Partner/spouse – 39%
  2. Nobody – 23%
  3. Friend / Neighbor – 23%
  4. Parent – 17%
  5. Child(ren) – 13%
  6. Religion/ someone in a religious capacity e.g. priest etc. – 6%
  7. Cousin – 5%
  8. Therapist/ counsellor / support groups / Cruse bereavement support – 5%
  9. Grandparent/ Great-grandparent – 4%
  10. Colleague/s – 4%
  11. National Health Service – 4%
  12. Aunt/ Uncle – 4%
  13. Employer / boss – 3%


Addrian Matthews, Head of Employee Benefits at MetLife UK said this about the employer/employee relationship pertaining to grief: “Nobody should have to grieve alone. Having support available can be a real lifeline, be it emotional or practical. It is likely employers do offer support that could benefit their workforce, but employees perhaps don’t know enough about it or where to access it. With simple and frequent communication to their workforce, employers can ensure employees feel supported in times of grief, have an outlet to turn to, and importantly, let them know they’re not alone.”


The MetLife “Last Word” Survey—  The survey sub-title is this:  “What’s stopping us from talking about our final wishes?”  . . “Valuable insight and learnings on our behaviors, needs, and expectations when it comes to death and funeral planning.”  Access the survey here.


Tom Anderson
Funeral Director Daily

Funeral Director Daily take:  Grief is a peculiar emotion.  Not shedding it somehow can have life altering affects.  I’ve attended funerals for my grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.  There has always been a certain amount of grief and sadness at those affairs but also a blessing for well-lived lives.


And, I’ve had the tough ones — my father as a teenager, my mother after being her “confidant and advisor” during 34 years of widowhood, and for my younger brother who died at age 31.  Even today, 46 years after my father died, I struggle with the idea that he never got to retire, that he never met his daughter-in-law (my wife) or his grandsons, and other things that I’ve enjoyed as a father. . . . .I think I have “healthy grief” in that I miss these loved ones from my life, but understand that life moves on and I cannot change the past.  And, I think that as one matures they maybe look at death and grief a little different.  For me, it’s a “moving continuum”.


I love to “remember and reflect” and am to a point where it is now a good feeling to do so.


How about your funeral home?  Are you doing all you can to help those that need help but won’t ask for it?  One of our sponsors at Funeral Director Daily is Strategic Funeral Resources.  They operate a program called “Comforting Connections” that you can offer those who don’t simply come out and ask for help with grief.  It’s a program that can be designed for your funeral home.  It is something you should be aware of. . . . you can learn more here.


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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous on August 30, 2023 at 9:49 am

    What about our pets or pets of person who past to help with grieving/healing?

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