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Australian Bereavement Support services

Finding Help During Times of Grief in Victoria and New South Wales

Seeking help when you are grieving can be a daunting task.

Where to start following the funeral? Who can you trust? Should I talk to my funeral director, a friend or get a recommendation? What medium will work for you?

My name is Klara McMurray and I am a professional funeral celebrant in Melbourne, and more recently, a Melbourne funeral director with Picaluna.

My work with families usually ends once I have completed the funeral service and returned the ashes (if relevant.)

But sometimes I hear from family members after the funeral service, asking for advice in finding the right Victorian bereavement service to support them through their grief.​

They tell me that as time has passed after the end-of-life event and the true depth of grief has set in, they now find themselves seeking help with navigating the coming weeks, months, and even years of bereavement.

As you embark on this stormy path, it’s essential to remember:

There is no timeline for grief.

Every individual processes loss differently, and it’s perfectly normal to feel a range of emotions. 
So, be gentle with yourself and allow yourself the space and time to heal. Recognize that this is a hard journey filled with both extreme highs and lows, and it’s okay to seek help when needed.

Should you find yourself struggling to function, face the world or move forward from this life-changing event, know that you are not alone and there is help out there.
No matter what your preferred method for seeking help, there are numerous bereavement support services available to assist you during this challenging time:

Grief Australia:

Grief Australia offers comprehensive grief counseling and bereavement support services in Melbourne and wider Victoria. 

They can also refer you to a Bereavement Therapist for personalised assistance tailored to your needs. 

Their Mygrief app provides personalised strategies and solutions to help you cope with the day-to-day challenges of grief. 

Additionally, they maintain a large repository of resources organised by topic to facilitate your search for relevant information.


Griefline operates nationwide and also face to face services in New South Wales.

They provide a free telehealth grief line available Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm AEST.

(If you require interpreter support due to language barriers, they are available to assist you.)

Furthermore, Griefline offers online forums where you can connect with others who are experiencing similar grief, as well as support groups with small gatherings of five to six individuals meeting online for six consecutive weeks. 

They can also refer you to a grief counselling specialist if necessary.

Compassionate Friends:

Compassionate Friends offer a variety of bereavement support services for bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings. 

The organisation is composed of individuals who have firsthand experience in losing a loved one, providing them with a unique level of understanding and empathy. 

Their support groups and services are invaluable resources for those seeking empathetic companionship during their grieving process.


There are several podcasts out there that are dedicated to discussing topics related to grief and loss. Here are two of the best:

Deadly Serious Conversations

Hosted by Fiona Garrivan, Deadly Serious Conversations covers a wide range of relevant subjects that may resonate with your own experience or needs. 

With everything from miscarriage to assisted dying, the experts that she interviews are all highly experienced in their fields and can offer invaluable advice, strategies, understanding and comfort that you are not alone. 

I have received endless feedback from families about the help that these insights have provided during challenging times. 

Access it on Apple Podcasts:


On spotify:

Iheart radio



Good Mourning

Run by two wonderful women, their purpose is to demystify grief and make easier to understand for everyone by talking candidly and honestly. 

They say it’s for individuals who have experienced a big loss, for people who have been someone’s support person, and also for individuals that just want to prepare themselves for when grief strikes.

Inspiring and educating content all round! 

Tune in to their episodes at https://www.goodmourning.com.au/listen-good-mourning-podcast.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness have proven to be powerful tools for promoting mental well-being, especially during periods of grief. 

There are specific meditation resources available to help those suffering from grief, and you can find many more within your phone’s app store. 

Practising mindfulness can provide a sense of calm and solace during moments of distress.

Here is a great one for getting you started:


Grief Journaling

Journaling can be a therapeutic practice for individuals processing grief. 

The fabulous Jo Betz has put together an incredible journal after experiencing the loss of her husband.
If you find comfort in expressing your emotions through words, this journal might be the right path for you.

Find it at https://www.jobetz.com.au/products/grief-a-guided-journal

Books and further reading

“The Art of Grief: The Use of Expressive Arts in a Grief Support Group” by Janelle S. Peifer: 

This book delves into the therapeutic benefits of using expressive arts, such as music, visual arts, and writing, to help individuals process and cope with grief. 

It provides practical guidance for grief support group facilitators and participants seeking creative ways to explore and express their emotions.

“The Grief Recovery Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses” by John W. James and Russell Friedman:

This widely acclaimed book provides a step-by-step program for individuals seeking to move beyond their emotional pain caused by various losses. 
It offers practical tools and methods to confront and process grief effectively.

“Life After Grief: Choosing the Path to Healing” by Audrey Birt: 

This book explores the author’s personal journey through grief and loss and offers valuable insights for those experiencing their own losses. With a focus on healing and growth, Audrey Birt shares her experiences and wisdom to guide readers towards finding meaning and hope after loss.

“The Bereaved Parent” by Harriet Sarnoff Schiff: 

This classic book remains highly relevant for bereaved parents worldwide. 
It addresses the unique challenges and emotions faced by parents who have lost a child and offers support, understanding, and comfort during the grieving process.

“Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss” by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen: 

“Tear Soup” is a heartfelt and gentle guide to grief that uses the metaphor of making soup to explore the grieving process. It provides a compassionate perspective on dealing with loss and finding solace in the company of others.

“When Your Child Dies: Tools for Mending Parents’ Broken Hearts” by Avril Nagel: 

This book addresses the profound grief experienced by parents who have lost a child. It offers practical advice, emotional support, and coping strategies to help parents navigate the difficult journey of grief and healing.

These non-fiction books offer valuable insights, practical advice, and emotional support for individuals experiencing grief and loss in Australia and beyond. Each book provides unique perspectives on the grieving process and offers tools for healing and finding hope in the face of profound loss.

Urgent assistance

If you or someone you know requires urgent assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to the urgent grief support services listed below.

Suicide Line: 1300 651 251 
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Griefline: 1300 845 745
Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636

As you read through this list, I hope you recognise that you are not alone in your grief. Numerous incredible individuals and organisations are dedicated to helping you through this challenging period. 
Don’t hesitate to reach out and seek the support you need. 
Go it one step at a time, and remember that the healing process takes time.

For any further information or assistance, get in touch with myself or Picaluna head office anytime.

Go gently and all the very best. 
Klara McMurray
Funeral Celebrant and Director

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