The hidden issue of men and grieving

Dealing with grief is hard for anyone. But women tend to have better social supports than men, who are often left with a sense of isolation and loneliness when faced with grief.

The way women process grief is different to men. They frequently have wider social networks, and find it easier to naturally connect with others. This can provide the support they need.

Men often face very different burdens and pressures. They may choose not to deal with their grief, and hide it or suppress it. Team Leader of HammondCare Bereavement Support Service Nathan MacArthur has found that increasing numbers of men need support and to connect with others who have been bereaved. That’s why HammondCare has recently launched a series of bereavement support groups specifically designed for men.

Some of the issues men who are experiencing spousal bereavement deal with include:

  • No longer socialising because their wife managed their social life
  • Having a need to talk to someone but finding it hard to do so
  • Experiencing greater isolation and loneliness

The way the bereavement support groups work is in both a therapeutic and a practical sense. The attendees become a connected group who journey together over time and discuss different topics.

An expert therapist and counsellor guides the group discussion. Friendships naturally grow out of these groups as members begin to take on the role of mentor to others and support one another.

Scott, recently bereaved, says of his experience of the group: "Meeting other people and hearing their stories makes you realise that you're not actually the only person in the world who has lost someone recently. What was important for me was looking outward and seeing how you can help others. This takes the focus off yourself and reminds you that there is reason to live without your partner.”

HammondCare currently has insufficient funding for important services like these and other forms of bereavement support. We rely on the generosity of our supporters to continue providing this vital work. If you would like to donate to our Bereavement Support, please go to our donation page.