Provides information on bereavement, where to go for support, and suggestions for helping yourself and others through grief.
There are a number of different organisations offering support for different types of bereavement. For example:
If you have lost someone to suicide, see our page on bereavement by suicide for more information and specific support options.
“Losing my dad unexpectedly aged 20 completely turned my life upside down. I thought I wasn't going to get through the grief but with the right support and time, I got through it.”
Coping with the loss of a loved one is always difficult, especially when it is not expected. It can take time to understand your feelings and adjust after the loss has happened, but there are things you can do help yourself cope. For example, it can help to:
“If I knew then what I know now, I would have prioritised looking after my own needs.”
Grief can be painful and exhausting but most people find that in time things become easier. Understanding the grief process and the common stages of the grief cycle can be really helpful - so it can be a good idea to familiarise yourself with these and keep them in mind during the periods when difficult feelings come up.
It can be particularly helpful to:
“I assumed that when I was feeling sad, it was not to do with my dad's death. But now that it has been several years, I can understand that what I was experiencing was a reaction to [his death].”
“In the early days, talking to whoever would listen helped me cope.”
Talking with a trained professional can help you become more aware of and address your thoughts and feelings following a loss. It can be useful to have a continuous focused source of support that goes beyond the level of support that friends or family may be able to provide.
Talking to a specialist grief counsellor may be appropriate and could help you with:
For information on talking therapies see our pages on talking therapy and counselling. Cruse Bereavement Care also have a local bereavement services directory, with some regions providing grief counselling.
“I thought that because I appeared to be coping better than my siblings, I was doing fine - but I needed to look closer at my own feelings.”
Following a loss it is natural to feel like your whole life has been disrupted. This may mean that you experience disrupted sleep (sleeping too much or too little), eating unhealthily or for some people using substances like alcohol or drugs in an attempt to numb difficult feelings - all of which are likely to make your mental health poorer.
With this in mind, it can be helpful to try to:
“When I am absorbed in playing and creating it can distract me from the distress I still experience at times.”
This information was published in July 2019. We will revise it in 2022.
References and bibliography available on request.
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