Dublin Counsellor Blog

Bereavement Counselling Dublin Part 3

Bereavement counselling Dublin Part 3: Helping someone to die is a humbling experience. A person should be prepared and told gently, slowly, and with consideration. Then follow them through Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ five stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, to acceptance.

Allow the denial and go at the pace of the loved one. Denial acts as a buffer to allow us to digest shocking news. In the anger phase, respect and understand the patient until they are through it. People tend to be angry around unfairness and injustice.


Bargaining is about guilt, help the loved one explore their guilt to relieve it. Help them through depression with the practical organising of affairs to help them let go of the external world. Also, give them space to contemplate their own death without trying to paint a ‘sunny’ side, the loss of all and everything and the loneliness of the experience.

Don’t let others hinder this emotional preparation with ‘cheer up’, a form of denial, it stops the dying contemplating their own death. They will be grateful for just sitting with them in this silence. If they dying can express his sorrow and anxieties he will reach acceptance. He can then begin thinking of what’s ahead rather than behind. Use prayer only if it’s useful.

Acceptance can be hindered by relatives who haven’t reached this stage themselves, forcing the patient to fight for life when he can let go. Relatives trying to stop death is denial of death in themselves and from having to face their own lack of immortality, their own limitations and fallibility. They may not respect the wishes of the dying person which is the greatest source of turmoil for the dying.

Bereavement counselling Dublin part 3

For a wider description of how bereavement counselling works and to see my own availability for counselling, check out

Thomas Larkin