National Grief Awareness week is from 2-8 December 2021 and is an opportunity to recognise the impact of grief in all its forms and the often long-lasting, often permanent impact of loss on a person and how we, as a society, can seek to better support those experiencing and living with grief and loss.

As a probate practitioner, I often deal with grieving families and I hope that my professional role will help, in some small way, to remove some of the barriers for that family. To enable them to have time and space to come to terms with their grief whilst I and my colleagues can deal with a number of practicalities for them. It is a privilege to try to practically help someone in this situation and to try to ease, in some small way, their journey through grief.

It is, however, not often mentioned about the impact for us as practitioners of loss. Of seeing grieving families, of losing clients we remember with fondness and - for those of us who have the joy of also being a deputy and/or attorney - have had very close, regular and sometimes even daily contact with.

Those relationships are professional - but we are human - and the loss of a client impacts us too. I have shed many a tear on hearing of the loss of a client. I often think of clients who have passed away as I deal with something that reminds me of them. And it is in remembering that we, as professionals, supporting clients to navigate the practicalities of their grief, also stand with them in their grief. We may not have had the same level or nature of relationship, but we will often share the sense of loss.

Society is so connected and as human beings, we are intrinsically linked to be joined and live a shared story - they say it takes a village. However, we can often view society as fractured, people as isolated and both the impact of and requirements of Covid-19 have further exacerbated both the feelings and realities of this. But the loss of a single person has an impact on each of us - whether directly or the ripples of grief caused to those we know.

Some days are harder than others, some losses strike us harder than others, and as professionals, we can and do feel the loss of clients and also their families. But there is a beauty in sharing that connectedness, in recognising the impact of a person on this world and above all, remembering the privileges of the job of a private client practitioner.

So as we enter this National Grief Awareness week, whatever your experience of grief is, it is something so powerful, uniquely human and connects us all at a fundamental level.

I wish you peace, happy memories and the opportunity to reflect and connect in this coming week.