IN FOCUS: A comforting presence amid the pain

Grief counsellor Rose Merifield. (Photo: Damjan Janevski)

By Carole Levy

Grief counsellor Rose Merifield describes grief as “like a hole in the middle of you”.

“Life is squashed to the edges – it is big and heavy and dark,” she says.

Rose, who opened her Point Cook centre last year, genuinely likes people and is affected by their life stories and their humanity.

“I am moved by the lives they have loved and continue to love after death – whether human or a pet,” she says.

“I want people to be able to talk about death, loss, grief, pain, anguish and despair, as well as transformation.

“A loss is a change and change can bring chaos and yearning for life to be the same as always. But it will never be the same again.”

Rose can empathise with those experiencing grief because she has been on her own journeys through grief – but also has the professional training and accreditation to support and guide those on their own push through pain.

She believes her role is to support people to find a passage through their pain and to provide information to normalise what they are experiencing.

“Many in our midst struggle to understand the array of feelings that can bombard one during loss,” she says. “I provide a safe place for expression – and encourage talking over and over again, without judgment. I place no time line on grief.

“Often when a loved one has died, support and comfort can be present at the start, but then the focus dwindles and the person is still in grief. They’re not sure how to make sense of their feelings as life has changed forever.

“I’m there with them in their bewilderment and help provide a safe place to explore and understand the place they are now in.”

Rose believes she “served her apprenticeship” as a volunteer palliative care worker for Mercy Palliative Care for four years.

She has a certificate of soul centred psychotherapy from the Kairos Centre and a graduate certificate in bereavement counselling and intervention from the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement; is a member of the Loss and Grief Association and is a volunteer counsellor at the Jesuit Support After Suicide.

She envisages her business as being a focus in the local community, helping people to walk and grow through grief and still thrive.


Rose Merifield – grief counsellor, entrance C1, level 1, Health & Wellness Centre, 5 Main Street, Point Cook. Opens 10am-5pm Monday-Friday. Inquiries: 0414 536 853 or visit