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Bereavement - help and support

Coping with loss

Everyone experiences grief differently and people may feel one or more of the following symptoms after a loss:

  • shock
  • sadness
  • guilt
  • anger
  • fear
  • physical symptoms

It's completely normal to feel any of these things in the first stages of grief.

NHS Choices and Cruse Bereavement Care have helpful advice on bereavement and how to cope.

Getting support

The most important thing to help you heal is having support from other people. This can be family, friends, colleagues, support groups or counsellors. We have information on organisations who can help in our service provider directory.

Find a bereavement support group

Supporting someone else

If you are supporting someone who has lost a loved one, you may need advice on how best to help them. While you can't take away the pain of loss, you can provide much needed comfort and support. Often just being there to listen is one of the most helpful things you can do.

Here are some useful suggestions of things you can do and things to avoid:

Do

  • be there for the person who is grieving
  • listen to them
  • encourage them to talk
  • let them know it's okay to show their feelings, rather than putting on a front
  • offer practical help, such as shopping, cleaning or helping with funeral arrangements

Don't

  • tell somebody how they 'should' be feeling, everybody grieves differently
  • avoid someone who has been bereaved
  • tell someone it's time to move on, there is no time limit for grieving and it varies from person to person
  • be alarmed if the person does not want to talk or gets angry or upset

For further advice, Cruse Bereavement Care can provide support. We also have information on organisations who can help you in our service provider directory.

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