Dealing with bereavement

Losing someone close to you is a devastating experience, and grief is a natural process to go through.

Grief affects everyone in different ways, and you must grieve in whichever way feels right for you. The process of mourning does not always happen immediately, and there is no time limit for it – some people take a longer time than others to grieve.

It’s important to give yourself time to mourn and allow your feelings to come out, to prevent them from remaining bottled up inside. You may feel a range of different emotions: 

  • Shock: It can take a while to realise what’s happened – you may feel numb and disorientated at first. It can be hard to believe that the person you care for isn’t coming back.
  • Pain: The pain of losing someone you love can be overwhelming and devastating.
  • Guilt: Guilt is a common feeling after the death of someone close. Perhaps you feel you didn’t do enough for them while they were alive, or you had a difficult relationship with them.
  • Anger: Anger is also part of the natural process of grieving. You may feel angry because death can seem unfair.  You may feel angry at the person for having left you too soon, or at yourself for the things you did, or didn’t do or say to the person before their death.
  • Depression and longing: Life can feel like it no longer holds any meaning, and some people say they also want to die.  You may also think you’re seeing and hearing the person, as you try to process what has happened.

How others may react

People often don’t know how to react, or what to say to someone who’s had a bereavement. This means they might stay away from you, and think they’re helping by giving you space, when actually you’d like their support. 

If you feel it’s right for you, tell others that you’d like to talk with them about your feelings and that you need their support and company.

Where can I get help?

It can be really helpful to talk about the person who has died, the good times you have shared with them and the relationship you had with them. You may choose to talk to friends, family, a spiritual advisor, your GP, a counsellor, or a support organisation.

Cruse Bereavement Care
Phone: 0808 808 1677 or 0749 5777 401 for the Richmond Office

Carers in Mind Project
Address: The Maddison Centre 140 Church Road Teddington Middlesex TW11 8QL
Phone: 020 8940 7384

Carers UK have some advice on rebuilding your life after the person you have been looking after dies.


Practical issues following a death

As well as dealing with the emotional loss, there are practicalities to take care of when someone close to you dies.