Living with Grief and Loss

Grief and loss affects us all in different ways. We want everyone in our School community to know they’re loved and supported, especially in the saddest of times.  

These short messages from our School Chaplain, Fr Jack, take one click and a few minutes of listening. 

This is for anyone and everyone in our community, those of Christian faith, those of other faiths and those with no faith.  All are welcome. 

Video 1 – Introduction

In this video:

These videos are designed to be helpful to members of our School community living with loss and bereavement.

There are lots of different kinds of loss: lifestyle, identity, relationship, and most seriously people we know or love who have died.

I’m sorry we can’t be together. 

But you are loved and being prayed for. Be in touch with your teachers and with me via email.

Whilst we hope this page is helpful, we can’t say everything here. So please do be in touch. Father Jack will be offering a Chaplain’s drop in on Google Meet for any student who wants to talk.  Look out for messages on email about this, or to get in touch with Fr Jack directly: j.noble@stmaryleboneschool.com


Video 2 – Main things to keep in mind

In this video:

Be kind and gentle to others and yourself. We’re all different. 

Family and friends may behave very differently, weirdly.  Be extra patient. This is normal and it won’t last forever. 

It will change. It won’t be fixed, but it will change.

Day by day.

People may tell you what you ‘should’ be feeling at various stages. But, you will only ever be able to take this at your own pace. There are no rules for this. 

In the meantime, you are loved by us and we are praying for you and your loved ones, and those who have died. Be in touch for chat.

There are no shortcuts to grief, I’m afraid.


Video 3 – It’s normal to feel…

In this video:

Don’t worry, it’s very normal to feel: guilty, weird things, nothing at all, feel like your feelings are inappropriate. It’s normal to feel afraid of the future, and feel empty, too.

Grief can catch you suddenly for no reason. This is normal.

Grief is especially hard at the moment, because of the effects of the lockdown. Be even more patient, gentle and kind to yourself and others.

Grief can affect our physical bodies too. It’s normal for your stomach to feel weird, to get headaches, for your skin breakout in spots, to feel achy.  It’s normal for your memory, emotions, mood swings, and ability to concentrate/be productive to be negatively affected.

It’s normal for things you used to love doing or watching or eating etc to feel empty. Don’t worry, your enjoyment of them will come back in its own time.

With all these feelings (and many others you may be feeling):

Notice them. 

Say to yourself, ‘ahh. That’s what’s happening’. 

You’re feeling this loss because you loved. That love is GOOD. Love is good. Love is why we’re here. Your grief is because you loved. We don’t grieve for things and people we didn’t love. Grief is the cost of love. And Love is good. So even with that pain, see it for what it is: love. Love continuing, love at work. And remember why you loved and still love that person. And eventually, in time, you may come to smile and enjoy this love again, even though they can’t be here.

You will probably feel some of these things I’ve said and not others. Some now, some later, some in the years to come. All this is normal and ok, it’s just part of living with grief.


Video 4 – Helpful things you can do

In this video:

Have something to occupy you. At least one thing each day to give your life structure. Helps. Not a fix, but it’s a helpful tool

Normally, we would have gone into church from school. Still moment, had some time just to process this, and maybe light a candle. Pray. Perhaps do a mini church service at home. There are some good resources in the link on this page for that.

Talking, sharing memories, laughing and being sad all within one conversation. There is no way you ‘should’ be grieving. Talk about how you’re feeling honestly. Email me or your form tutor/pastoral head of year to say you’d like to chat, or think it might be helpful. We can help. It may not be about anything in particular. Just talking to somebody who cares for you and is completely nonjudgemental – like me and your teachers – can help.

Exercise. Milky drink before bed. Sleep and exercise are really important. Keep to sensible sleeping waking hours/timings even if it is hard for a while.

Notice how you’re feeling. Step back and see your emotions and thoughts – like you might see pieces moving across a board game board. ‘ahh. I’m behaving like this, because I’m feeling this, because…’ It doesn’t make it all go away, but it helps us to take a step back and get a clearer picture and a but more awareness.


Video 5 – The Big Picture

In this video:

Death feels so strange and abnormal, like an unwelcome intrusion into our lives. 

And yet death is part of life. 

The body’s cells sometimes grow where they shouldn’t – that’s what we call cancer. Body parts get worn out or go wrong. Viruses exist in the world. But this feels like an external and wrong thing to us when we experience it. 

To hope is to see the greater story. Hope does not take away the pain of separation – but helps us to see the bigger picture. The life we live now is precious and beautiful and real – but it isn’t all there is. We came from love and are headed back to love. This is our tenacious and true hope.  

Jesus assures us of this. His death and Resurrection are the confident promise of life and love that is greater than our life now. It doesn’t take away the pain or separation of grief, but it puts it in context, and gives us hope. And always, our love goes on. Jesus shows us that love is stronger than death.


Video 6 – Prayer and Blessing

In this video:

A Prayer for loved ones who have died, for ourselves and for each other. The Lord’s Prayer.

God’s blessing upon us all.

Peace be with you.


Other Resources

Fr Jack’s email address: j.noble@stmaryleboneschool.com
Heads of Year, Assistant Heads of Year and Form Tutors’ emails are the same format: initial.surname@stmaryleboneschool.com

Father Jack will be offering a Chaplain’s drop in on Google Meet for any student who wants to talk.  Look out for messages on email about this, or to get in touch with Fr Jack directly: j.noble@stmaryleboneschool.com . 

A very good new Church of England resource for young people during the Covid-19 Pandemic:
https://churcharmy.org/Groups/341046/Church_Army/web/What_we_do/Resources/Death_Grief_and/Death_Grief_and.aspx