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Coping with bereavement

Coping with Grief

Talking and sharing your feelings with someone can help. Don’t go through this alone. For some people, relying on family and friends is the best way to cope. But if you don’t feel you can talk to them much (perhaps you aren’t close, or they’re grieving too), you can contact local bereavement services through your GP, local hospice or the national Cruse helpline on 0844 477 9400.

A bereavement counsellor can give you time and space to talk about your feelings, including the person who has died, your relationship, family, work, fears and the future. You can have access to a bereavement counsellor at any time, even if the person you lost died a long time ago.

Don’t be afraid to talk about the person who has died. People on your life might not mention their name because they don’t want to upset you. But if you feel you can’t talk to them, it can make you feel isolated.

Anniversaries and special occasions can be hard. Sarah suggests doing whatever you need to do to get through the day. This might be taking the day off work or doing something that reminds you of that person, such as taking a favourite walk.

If You Need Help To Move On

Each bereavement is unique, and you can’t tell how long it will last. ‘In general, the death and the person might not constantly be at the forefront of your mind after around 18 months,’ this period may be shorter or longer for some people which is normal.

Your GP or a bereavement counsellor can help if you feel that you’re not coping. Some people also get support from a religious minister. You might need help if:
• You can’t get out of bed
• You neglect yourself or your family, for example you don’t eat properly
• You feel you can’t go on without the person you’ve lost
• The emotion is so intense its affecting the rest of your life, for example you can’t face going to work or your taking your anger out on someone else.

These feelings are normal as long as they don’t last for a long time. ‘The time to get help depends on the person,’ says the counsellor. ‘If these things last for a period that you feel is too long, or your family say they’re worried, that’s the time to seek help. Your GP can refer you, and they can monitor your general health.’

Some people turn to alcohol or drugs during difficult times.

Get help cutting down on alcohol, or see the Frank website for information on drugs

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