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Coping with Bereavement

For most of us, losing a loved one can be devastating and lonely. Grief is what you will normally experience when somebody you are close to dies and it affects people in different ways.

What is bereavement and grief?

Bereavement is what a person goes through when someone close to them passes away. It’s the state of having suffered a loss. The person who has lost someone is said to be bereaved.

When someone close to you passes away, you go through a normal process called grieving. Grieving is normal after any form of loss, but is most powerful when someone we love dies.

Grief is a very individual thing and there is no right or wrong way to react. But there are some common feelings people experience including anger, shock, guilt, sadness and depression, emptiness and acceptance.

Grieving involves many different emotions, actions, and expressions, all of which help the person come to terms with the loss of a loved one. But remember, grief doesn’t look the same for everyone and every loss is different.

The grieving process

Some people say grief comes in different stages, but many people often feel that they go back and forth and not really moving forward. This can be a way of coping, and over time you will start to feel less overwhelmed.

How long does grief last?

Grieving is a very individual thing and how long people grieve for varies. It may go on for months or years but the intensity of it won’t always be so strong. It is also perfectly normal for strong emotions to surface on anniversaries such as the first birthday or Christmas after the death of a loved one. You need to find your own way to deal with this in the right way for you.

Coping techniques

After experiencing a bereavement it’s important that you don’t force yourself to feel better and you give yourself time to come to terms with your loss. The first step forward is to acknowledge you are grieving and allow yourself to feel the way you do. Here are some suggestions which may help:

If you feel like everything is getting too much, visit your GP as they may be able to refer you to a grief counsellor.

However, there are also lots of specialist support organisations out there who can offer advice following a bereavement.

Published Feb 2016

Next planned review: Feb 2018