Grief, or mourning, is a natural process after the death of someone we love.
Grief is personal, and how you grieve is your choice. You may wish to spend time grieving alone, or grieve with the support of family, friends or others.
You may wish to grieve in different ways at different times, depending on how you feel and what is happening in your life.
Some people talk about grief as happening in stages. During these stages we work through what has happened. The final stage is when we feel acceptance of what has happened, we are able to lead a full and hopeful life once again.
Grief can feel particularly intense at times, for example on birthdays. Or it may feel hardest when you are least expecting it to. For example, if someone says something that sparks a memory of the person who died.
Some bereaved people feel that, over time, help from family and friends starts to fade away. You may find it helps to show family and friends this information and talk about how you can keep helping each other. Sometimes, something simple, such as a regular phone call, can make a big difference.
Some people have a regular get together to honour someone’s life, for example on their birthday.
Memorialising can help people grieve together. Some people plant a tree or erect a plaque. Some people fundraise for a charity in memory of a person who has died.
Grief support services
There are many grief support services, many operated by national and local charities.
Many services are appropriate to be accessed only after the early weeks of shock are over. To avoid disappointment, check when a service is meant to be accessed and if there is a waiting list.
Services often include:
phone, or face to face, grief counselling or support
groups of bereaved people helping each other, together, including online or socially
A service may help anyone grieving, or may specialise in:
helping people bereaved by a particular cause of death
helping particular kinds of people, for example families, children, youth, widows, older people or people with particular faiths