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Becoming Bereaved

Laura Smith, from our Counselling & Bereavement team, writes about becoming bereaved, some of the things we may feel, and the support the Hospice can offer.

When someone close to us dies it can feel as though the world has been turned upside down.  Everything that we took for granted about our lives, all our hopes, dreams and plans can feel as though they have been cruelly swept away, leaving a painful void.  Whether the death was sadly anticipated or completely unexpected, we can be left with a turmoil of emotions, which may include anger, guilt and numbness.  Everyone will grieve differently, and it’s important to remember that however we feel is “normal” for us, and that there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

The first few days and weeks after a bereavement can feel very overwhelming; there are often many arrangements and decisions which need to be made.  We can feel exhausted, although support from family and friends can often go a long way in helping us with day to day practicalities.  Once the funeral is over, support often gradually lessens, and we can find ourselves feeling more alone with our grief.  Often we feel as though we don’t wish to “burden” others with our sad feelings, and we may be trying to offer support to others, eg other family members, while still dealing with our own grief.

Often it can be beneficial to have some additional support for ourselves and it can be helpful to talk to others who have been through similar experiences.  No one will ever know exactly how it feels for us, but those who have also lost loved ones can often have a greater understanding of the thoughts and emotions that we are experiencing.

Here at Peace Hospice Care, we run a drop-in bereavement group on Friday afternoons from 2pm – 3.30pm for anyone who has been recently bereaved, and we invite you to come along if you would like to have an opportunity to be with others who have also lost loved ones.  The group is run by a qualified bereavement counsellor and will provide a warm, friendly space where you can expect support, compassion and understanding.

If you would like more information about the group, please contact Laura Smith, our Bereavement Support and Counselling Clinical Lead, on: 01923 330 330.