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Advice and Counselling Service

Death and bereavement

Experiencing loss 

The death of someone significant to you is one of the hardest things you will experience in your life. Whether it is expected or a shock, the enormity of loss is something that impacts you in a very profound way.  

Grief takes a long time to work through. There are no hard and fast guidelines for this. It takes as long as it takes, but as a rule, it will take longer than you expect. It is important not to try to 'get over it' too quickly, nor adopt a 'stiff upper lip' attitude.  

Grieving is an inevitable and human response. If suppressed, it may well surface at a later, less appropriate stage. Sometimes there seems to be an expectation that you will have recovered after a certain amount of time has elapsed. But everyone has their own recovery time that cannot be hurried. 

Ways to support yourself 

  • Be patient with yourself – it may take longer to do things; you may struggle with concentration, and you may just want to cry a lot of the time. All of these are normal responses to grief and unfortunately, there isn’t a way to speed up this process. You may need to take things more steadily for a while.
  •  Talk to others – it may be helpful to talk to others who knew the person you have lost or talk to those you are close to. Sharing your feelings can help you to feel some relief at times. 
  •  Reach out for support – remember there is no right way or time to grieve, so talking in more depth with a counsellor about your loss may not feel helpful for a while after your loss. If you feel you want to talk with a counsellor, you can contact us for support or you may want to consider longer-term bereavement counselling services. 
  •  Julia Samuel, experienced grief therapist. speaks here about some of the initial ways we may cope with grief:

Specialist organisations 

Cruse Bereavement Care Cruse’s website has lots of information and resources. They offer a helpline and online chat services if you need to speak to someone. There are also links to local Cruse services who offer individual and group bereavement support sessions. 

Hope Again supports young people living after loss. Their website features personal stories, advice on what to do when someone dies, and links to further resources and support. 

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide is a self-help organisation set up to meet the needs of those bereaved by the suicide of a close friend or family member. They provide a helpline, information, email support and access to local support groups. 

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