The death of someone close is one of the hardest and most distressing things we will ever have to face in life.
Whether it's a parent, a partner, a child, a sibling or a friend who has died, the impact of their death can be devastating and overwhelming. How we react to a loved one's death will be influenced by many different things, including our age, personality, our cultural background and religious beliefs, our previous experience of bereavement and how we cope with loss.
Everyone's grief is unique and it's important that people have space to grieve in their own way, without prejudice or judgement. It's impossible to know how long someone will grieve for, but over time, the pain they feel may lessen as they slowly adapt to cope without the person who has died.
When you're grieving
There are a number of things people might find helpful when they're in the midst of their grief. As the largest bereavement charity in the UK, we've found that talking provides comfort for many. Talking about the person who has died can help someone process what has happened and keep their memories of that person alive. Many people find talking to friends and family helpful, but sometimes talking to someone who is not emotionally connected or also grieving can be beneficial too.
Having a general awareness of grief and the different emotions associated with it can also be reassuring. Whilst we all grieve differently, it can be helpful to know that feelings of extreme sadness, regret, anger, guilt and anxiety are all common. We get many calls to our National Helpline from people who want reassurance that what they're feeling is normal. Being mindful of grief can also help someone prepare for and manage particularly stressful situations such as anniversaries and birthdays, which can magnify the loss they feel.
There will be times when people need professional support. There are many organisations that provide emotional, practical, financial and peer-to-peer services to help people who are struggling after a bereavement.
CABA's partnership with Cruse Bereavement Care was set up in April 2018 to provide past and present ICAEW members, ICAEW staff, ACA students and their families, with emotional support after a personal bereavement. Through this partnership, members have access to trained and experienced Bereavement Supporters, who will be there for them during a difficult time and offer coping strategies to help them with their grief, with up to six telephone sessions of confidential and non-judgemental support.
To access this invaluable service, you simply need to contact CABA, who will refer you directly to Cruse Bereavement Care. Call +44 (0) 1788 556 366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to start the referral process.
This article was written for CABA by Cruse Bereavement Care. Visit cruse.org.uk to find out more about Cruse Bereavement Care.
For more tips, tools and resources to help you take care of your mental wellbeing and empower others to do the same, visit cabamentalwellbeing.org.uk