skip to primary navigationskip to content
 

Bereavement

Bereavement

Losing someone from our life – whatever our relationship with that person – can be an incredibly painful experience. Feelings of shock, disbelief, regret, sadness, guilt, fear, and rage, are all natural parts of the grieving process, however overwhelming and distressing they may feel to us at times.

On top of the pain of grief itself, we may also feel conflicted about our grieving process. We might feel (or others might suggest to us) that we are ‘dwelling’ on it, or that we are moving on too quickly. We might feel pressure to grieve in a certain way – for example, to remember and celebrate the good times, when in fact we are finding it hard to put upsetting or traumatic events out of our minds.

Each experience of grief is unique, and is to a large extent out of our control. There is nothing we can do to make the process move faster, and there is no way to do it ‘right’. 

 

Coping with grief

 

Be patient with yourself

Grief is exhausting. You may feel physically and emotionally overwhelmed. The process of grief can take a toll on your brain’s ability to process and organise information, and you may find it hard to concentrate. Being aware of this and being kind to yourself is very important.

 

Look after yourself

When we suffer a loss, it can disrupt our natural biological rhythms. We may find it hard to eat, or sleep. We may find ourselves trying to numb the pain in ways that are ultimately self-destructive, such as by drinking too much or hurting ourselves. We may not be able to take pleasure in things that we usually enjoy, and that can make it hard to know how best to look after ourselves. Often, simply being aware that we are going through a time of huge emotional upheaval can help, and thinking about what we would do for a friend who was in a similar situation.

 

Ask for help

Loss can happen at times when we don’t feel we have room for it – when life is already stressful, and we don’t feel we have anything left to give. Bereavement can also bring up difficult memories from the past – of other losses, or of painful parts of our relationship with the person who has died.

If you feel overwhelmed after a loss, do not be afraid to ask for help from friends, family, members of your faith community, your GP or your Staff Counselling Centre.

There are also a number of organisations that can offer specialist bereavement support, including:

 

Cruse

  • offering a bereavement helpline and counselling at a local and national level

 

The Bereavement Trust

  • offering a helpline for the bereaved

 

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

  • offering a helpline, an online support forum, and local support groups

 

The Loss Foundation

  • providing free Cancer bereavement support

 

The Compassionate Friends

  • offering a helpline, online support, and in person groups for people who have suffered the death of a child of any age

 

SANDS

  • offering befriending, support groups and an online support forum for parents who have suffered late miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death

 

Grief Encounter

  • offering bereavement support for children and young people

 

SAMM

  • offering support for people bereaved by murder or manslaughter

 

 Blue Cross Pet Bereavement

  • offers a helpline providing support after the loss of a pet

 

 Brake

  • offers a helpline and support guides for road crash victims and their families

 

If you would like to enquire about counselling to do with grief or any other issues, you can do so via our website: https://staff.counselling.cam.ac.uk

Upcoming events

Living Well with Long Term Health Conditions

Mar 02, 2021

Zoom Video Conferencing

Stress and Anxiety Sessions

Mar 04, 2021

Zoom Video Conferencing

Upcoming events

Join our Staff Counsellor Kate Ahl for 4 workshops on different aspects of wellbeing. Each session includes relaxation sessions, slide presentation and interactive exercises.

Read more

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can get help

Read more