Grief after Bereavement or Loss
Most people experience grief when they lose something or someone important to them. If these feelings are affecting your life, there are things you can try that may help.
Symptoms of bereavement, grief and loss
Bereavement, grief and loss can cause many different symptoms and they affect people in different ways. There is no right or wrong way to feel. As well as bereavement, there are other types of loss such as the end of relationship or losing a job or home.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Shock and numbness- this is usually the fist reaction to loss, and often people talk about 'being in a daze'
- Overwhelming sadness, with lots of crying
- Tiredness or exhaustion
- Anger- towards the person you have lost or the reason for your loss
- Guilt- for example, guilt about feeling angry, about something you said or did not say, or not being able to stop your loved one dying
These feelings many not be there all the time and powerful feelings may appear unexpectedly.
Things you can try to help with bereavement, grief and loss
- Try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor. You can also contact a support organisation such as Cruse Bereavement Care
- Try the 6 ways to feel happier, which are simple lifestyle changes to help you feel more in control and able to cope
- Find out about how to get to sleep if you're struggling to sleep
- Consider peer support, where people use their experiences to help each other. Find out more about peer support on the Mind Website
- Listen to free mental wellbeing and audio guides
- Search and download relaxation and mindfulness apps or online community apps from the NHS Apps library
- Do not try and do everything at once- set small targets that you can easily achieve
- Do not focus on the things you cannot change- focus your time and energy into helping yourself feel better
- Try not to tell yourself that you're alone- most people feel grief after a loss and support is available
- Try not to use alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or drugs to relieve grief- these can all contribute to poor mental health
- Do not compare your grief journey to others, everyone copes differently and there is no time line to feel better
- Do not put pressure on yourself to 'feel ok'
Further Information and Support
- Grief and bereavement on the Cruise Bereavement Care website
- Losing your partner or child in pregnancy
- Losing someone to suicide on the Mind website
- The GOV.UK website also has information about what to do after someone dies, such as registering the death and planning a funeral