Feelings towards others

If people say the wrong thing

Sometimes well-meaning people might say things that may feel hurtful, such as ‘you’ll get over it’.

They may talk about their own bereavements, or someone else’s bereavement, when you do not want to listen to someone else’s story.

They may talk about how they felt when bereaved, when you feel very differently.

These things may feel upsetting, particularly if people are talking about a bereavement that you consider was less distressing.

Reading the pages on this website may help people to be thoughtful of your needs.

If you don’t feel able to share this information with others, you may find it easiest, at this time, to make a gentle excuse to leave a conversation that is upsetting you and seek support elsewhere.

If people ignore you

Some bereaved people experience being avoided by people they know.

This can happen because people are afraid they might say the wrong thing, or don’t know how they can help.

Or they might not know you have been bereaved.

Some people may choose to give their attention to other people around you affected by the same bereavement and ignore you. This can feel painful – as though people are not recognising the effect of the bereavement on you, or that you are being rejected.

View our help for friends and communities pages, to help them to help you, better.

I feel angry or blame someone for something

Some bereaved people have feelings of anger or blame.

Some people feel this way about a person who has died – for creating such a big hole in other people’s lives.

Some people feel this way about someone who may have caused a death, or who perhaps could have done something to prevent a death.

For people who do not normally feel angry, or blame others, or feel defensive, these thoughts may feel particularly distressing. It may help to share them confidentially. Talk to your Sudden case worker.

I can’t face the world yet

Some bereaved people find they struggle to face the world again. They don’t want to go to places where they might come into contact with others. They don’t want to talk to people they don’t know, or even some people they do know.

It is normal to worry that it will all be too hard to talk to people.

It is also common to feel nervous, or jumpy, and find loud noises distressing.

It may feel easier to stay at home.

It is normal, and OK at this time, to avoid situations that could become overwhelming. It is sensible to protect yourself at this time.

It is also important to have time outside, if you can, and have time with others you trust.

Small steps can help. For example, going for a gentle walk with someone you know.