Our top tips!
- Find ways to help you remember your loved one
Having ways to remember your loved ones after they have passed may help you come to terms with the loss. Ideas could include creating mementos, taking time to think about the memories you have, and talking to others.
- Think about the pain that you are feeling
Remember that it is normal to feel pain after you have lost somebody. Don’t be afraid if you are feeling sad or feeling pain; this is a natural part of the grieving process.
- Don’t be afraid to get help if you need it
Everybody copes with grief in their own way, and some cope better than others. If you are struggling to come to terms with the loss, do not be afraid to reach out and get help.
- Take your time
Coming to terms with a loss does not happen overnight. Take the time that you need to make sure you’re able to process your bereavement properly.
What is bereavement?
Bereavement is the feeling of grief, loss or mourning when somebody close to you dies. When someone dies, people will feel and respond differently as they take time to come to terms with the loss of that person.
There is no right or wrong way for people to feel when they lose somebody. Some people will be able to resume life as normal, some will struggle for some time, while others may be deeply affected by the loss.
It’s important to understand that it’s completely normal to have strong feelings after the loss of a loved one. These feelings might include:
- Feeling confused, scared, numb, or low.
- Feeling like you have lost control, or like things will never go back to normal.
Many people dealing with bereavement may feel like they will never get over their loss, or that these feelings will last forever. But this is not true. Everybody comes to terms with death in their own way and in their own time.
Feelings of bereavement are temporary and as you come to terms with the loss of a loved one, these feelings will start to pass, but the memories will remain.
Feelings of bereavement or grief can occur in other situations too. You may find that you feel very similar if you lose a pet, stop talking to a friend, or experience a breakup. This is completely normal.
You should not put any pressure on yourself to feel better any sooner than you need to, and you should give yourself the time that you need to come to terms with the loss.
Saying goodbye to loved ones
Saying goodbye to loved ones after they have passed away is an important part of the grieving process, a way to get closure, and an opportunity to celebrate their life.
Celebrations can include:
- Funerals and services
Often, there is a funeral or memorial service that takes place to help people celebrate the person’s life, and to help loved ones say their final goodbyes. People will celebrate in different ways: either through traditional or religious services, or services requested by the deceased person.
- Cremations and burials
After a loved one has passed, they may be buried in a graveyard or cremated. If they are cremated, their ashes may be buried, stored in an urn or scattered at a special or meaningful location.
Coping with bereavement
Talk to someone
Talking to someone throughout the grieving process is important. Make sure that somebody close to you, who you trust, is aware of how you are feeling. Keep in touch with people so you can support each other, especially if you’re all close to the person who has died.
When somebody dies, they may leave a lot of unanswered questions that you think you will never be able to get the answers to. But this is not necessarily the case. Think of the questions that you have, and ask the most appropriate person to find the answers.
Understand your grief
Take the time to really understand your grief. Everybody grieves in different ways and some cope better than others. If you take the time to understand how you are coping, you will be better able to support yourself in getting through this period of grief.
It is really important to support yourself both psychologically and physically. Although it seems hard, try to get out of the house, get fresh air and exercise. Keeping yourself physically active will help to boost your psychological health as well.
The stages of Grief
The stages of grief are not ‘linear’, and everyone moves through them in different ways.
Some people will experience all 5 stages, whilst others might skip some stages. Some people will move through them in ‘order’ and others will go backwards and forwards or in different orders.
What is important to remember is that grief is different for everybody, and we all experience it in our own way.
Denial, or the pretending that something hasn’t happened, allows us to reduce the pain that we are feeling.
Often, after somebody close to us passes away, it takes a little while to come to terms with the fact that anything is happened and we sometimes don’t really believe that they have died straight away. It takes time to adjust!
Anger is a very common emotion to experience during the grief cycle. It is sometimes a way for all of our other emotions to escape that we might be holding in when we are grieving.
Anger can come out in many ways, whether it is anger towards yourself, towards the loved one that has died, towards other close family members and friends or any others.
As we start to come to terms with the loss and understand that we really have lost a loved one, it is also common for people to experience depression. This depression can be different for everyone, and some may experience more extreme instances of depression than others.
It is important to realise that this may not be a continuous feeling of depression, and sometimes it can come and go in waves of feelings. It is at this stage that people may start to withdraw from others.
When we lose somebody close, we often feel helpless because there isn’t much that can be done to change what happens. We often look to bargain with ‘higher powers’ to try to influence what has happened, even though deep down we know that we can’t.
It is at this stage when people start to focus on their own faults and some of the regrets that they may have, such as an argument that happened or a comment that was made.
Acceptance does not mean that we don’t feel sad or the pain of losing our loved one. Acceptance simply means that we now understand the reality of the situation that we are in.
We will still likely get sad and reflect on some of our regrets (and good memories too!), but we are less likely to experience some of the other stages of grief anymore.
I think I might need some help... what do I do?
If you have recently lost somebody and you are struggling with the grieving process, it’s really important that you start thinking about reaching out to someone.
There are so many different options that you can think about, and all of them will be able to help you in some way. Do not suffer in silence; reach out to someone now to start getting the help that you need.
Speak to us
You don’t need to suffer in silence. If you are struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one and you would like to talk to someone, our friendly mentors will always be on hand to talk with you.
Speak to somebody that you trust
It is really important that somebody close to you, who you can trust, knows about how you are feeling so that they can be there for you when you need them.
Managing life around bereavement
Any form of bereavement can bring challenges for people at any stage in their life, and it may feel like the world doesn’t slow down to help you recover.
- I am at school
Speak to a parent or carer, or a teacher who you trust to help you with this. You may be able to take time out of school to help you come to terms with your loss, and your teachers will be understanding.
- I have exams
Most exam boards will have policies in place to help people struggling due to bereavement. Speak to a teacher at your school for more advice.
- I am working
If you are working and need to take time out, most companies will have policies in place to make sure that you can take leave to help come to terms with the loss of a loved one. Make sure you use these policies if you need to.