Grief is a natural reaction following the death of someone. But it is a very individual experience and may be influenced by your culture and experience. Bereavement can cause deep sadness, distress and unexpected feelings, such as disbelief, anger, guilt and panic. This extra emotional distress may make you feel very tired and cause other physical symptoms.
You may find yourself feeling acute grief or coping with your grief by keeping busy or distracting yourself from painful feelings.
You may realise you swing between these different ways of managing.
Other people around you may be coping differently from you, so it may seem difficult to connect with each other.
You may also be trying to protect each other from distress. Some people feel overwhelmed and others try to control how they are responding. Some people may feel very vulnerable and others find reassurance in grief.
This may depend on your experiences and personality.
Children also grieve.
It may help you to talk about these feelings, and this can relieve some of the sadness you experience, now or later, especially if you feel vulnerable. You may feel others are avoiding you. This may be because they are embarrassed and do not know what to say. You may need to let them know you want to talk about the person who has died and that you need their support. Particularly if you have children, or work or other commitments, you may need space for yourself in which to grieve. Grieving takes time.
Though it may be difficult to believe it now, most people gradually begin to feel less raw and rebuild parts of their life again. Although that life will be different.
The health professionals involved in the care of your loved one should be able to offer you advice about where to get help and support when you have been bereaved. Speak to them for more information. Most people establish life again after healthy grief. If you do not think you are able to do this please talk to your doctor.
Details of other organisations that can help you.
The Bereavement Advice Centre website includes helpful information.
Cruse Bereavement Care is a major national organisation offering support for people who have been bereaved. Please note that the offices are often run by volunteers and you may get an answer phone when you call. But, leave your name and contact details with information about the best time to call you back and they should contact you within a few days
Somerset Area Cruse - phone 01458 898211 - covers
- Bridgwater and Burnham-on-Sea
- West Mendip
- Taunton and Minehead
- Yeovil and Sherborne
Bath and District - phone 01761 417250 - covers
The line is staffed from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday
The Bereavement Register is a free service that helps put a stop to direct mail being sent to people that have died. The NHS does have a record of deaths but sometimes letters are sent automatically before the system is uodated. Please accept our apologies if this happens in the days after death.
Websites for children who have been bereaved
Local bereavement support
Each of the hospices provide a range of bereavement services for relatives and carers of patients who were previously referred to the hospice.
Other useful contacts