Grief is the normal human response to the loss of someone (or even something) important to us. The death of a relative, friend or colleague can result in emotions which may feel overwhelming at times or even frightening. Most people cope well with the support of family and friends but it can be helpful to speak with someone unconnected with your situation and knowledgeable about bereavement.   Call us and if it would be helpful we can suggest appropriate services to contact, on-line or in person.

THE EXPERIENCE OF GRIEF

Each experience of bereavement is unique – just as the relationship between the person who has died and the person who is missing them is unique.  You may expect to feel shocked and numb and to be deeply sad and tearful.  However, it is also normal and common to feel quite angry even if your mind tells you that is not justified, so do not feel guilty about any of your feelings.

You may have read or been told that grief has various stages such as shock, pain, anger, guilt, depression and longing, almost like a checklist that you have to work through.  Research has shown that this is too simplistic an explanation.  A roller-coaster of emotions might be a better description with times when you can show a ‘brave face’ to most people which differs to how you may be feeling on the inside.  At other times your emotions may seem to overwhelm you and demand your time and all of your energy.

Grief is often exhausting – you can expect to feel very tired and possibly apathetic about ordinary everyday tasks. If you have been the carer for the person who has died, you may wonder how you are going to fill long empty hours of your time. At such times you can feel a real sense of achievement in ordinary everyday tasks accomplished, like making a simple meal.

Try not to place too high demands on yourself in addition to all the things that you may have to do already such as going to work or caring for children or other members of a family. Provided you can afford it, it is fine to have a week of take-away meals rather than cooking.

Making lists of things that have to be done is often helpful to keep track of the unfamiliar tasks that bereavement requires but remember very few of these will be really urgent once you have notified everyone that needs to know about the death (family, close friends, banks, DWP and similar).

If you are fortunate enough to have offers of help from family and friends, take up any offers of cleaning, shopping, gardening. Do not worry if you feel you are repeating yourself to friends and family you trust, they are there for you.

There are many organisations that offer emotional support and often a phone call or on-line chat to reassure you that what you are experiencing is normal is enough to enable you to carry on.  However you may value contact with people who have experienced the death of someone close in similar circumstances (peer support) and we can signpost you to one that best matches your situation. You may also want advice on how to support someone else in specific circumstances e.g. the death of a child or a child affected by the death of someone they cared for.

Children and adolescents do experience grief but how they show this depends partly on their age i.e. what stage of emotional and intellectual development they have reached. There are excellent organisations that offer this support and we would recommend Child Bereavement UK who have an excellent website and helpline that will help you explain the death of someone close to a child or young person and also resources that will help with this. They also offer support to adults affected by the death of a child.

Other people's reactions: One of the hardest things to face when we are bereaved is the way other people react. Often some people do not know what to say or how to respond to our loss and may be worried about saying the wrong thing, or they may avoid you rather than approach you about your bereavement. This can be particularly difficult for us because we may wish to talk about the person who has died. It can become especially upsetting as time goes on and people's memories of the person who has died fade. 

Do contact your GP if you are concerned about your own health or your mental health professional if you are already a client of their services.

Please be aware that many bereavement helplines are provided by charities and phones may be staffed by trained volunteers. Please do be prepared to leave a message on an answer-machine and be patient waiting for them to call you back.

 

There are a large number of support organisations which you might choose to contact. The ones we have listed are ones known to us but please let us know if there are other organisations that you feel we should list.  Most hospices also offer bereavement support but in some cases this will be restricted to families of someone who has died while in the care of the hospice. 

SAMARITANS www.samaritans.org or call free on 116 123 for immediate support if you are in extreme distress and need to speak with some urgently. This is a 24 hour service.

Age UK www.ageuk.org.uk Help and advice for older people on very many topics including bereavement

At a Loss - www.ataloss.org - Charity signposting to bereavement support and resources.

Bereaved through Alcohol and Drugs www.beadproject.org.uk Helpful information site with links to support provided by Cruse

Blue Cross www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-bereavement-and-pet-loss  Although the death of a companion animal does not have the practical implications of the death of a person, it can cause real and painful grief and the Blue Cross provides understanding and support in these circumstances

Child Bereavement UK www.childbereavementuk.org  For anyone supporting a bereaved child

Compassionate Friends https://www.tcf.org.uk/  Originally founded to support parents after a child has died (included adult children) it now supports bereaved family members including grandparents and brothers/sisters of the person who has died

 

Cruse Bereavement Care www.cruse.org.uk The UK’s largest bereavement support charity

 

The Good Grief Trust – www.thegoodgrieftrust.org - Information on bereavement support

 

Marie Curie Bereavement Support Service www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/telephone-bereavement-support  Telephone support service for people bereaved following a terminal illness

MIND www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/bereavement/about-bereavement/  The mental health charity – has information on bereavement and suggests sources of support

Road Peace www.roadpeace.org Charity for road crash victims including bereavement support

Support after Murder and Manslaughter www.samm.org.uk/support-for-the-bereaved.php

 

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide uksobs.org

 

WAY (Widowed and Young) www.widowedandyoung.org.uk for people whose life partner has died and under the age of 50

WAY UP way-up.co.uk  On-line support for people aged (mostly) in their 50s and 60s whose life partner has died

Do contact your GP if you are concerned about your own health or your mental health professional if you are already a client of their services.

Please be aware that many bereavement helplines are provided by charities and their phones may be staffed by trained volunteers. Please do be prepared to leave a message on an answer-machine and try and be patient waiting for them to call you back.

WE ARE NBS

NBS offers support, signposting and legal guidance following a bereavement, as well as offering guidance to anyone planning ahead in anticipation of their own death.

 Company number 09333323

ADDRESS

0800 0246 121

Office 10, Consett Innovation Centre, Ponds Court Business Park, Genesis Way, Consett, County Durham, DH8 5XP

 

info@thenbs.org

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