Many bereaved people say that the initial feeling of shock leaves them with a sense of numbness and disbelief, quickly followed by feelings of fear, loneliness, panic, anger and guilt as you try to make some kind of sense of what has happened. You can be left feeling overwhelmed affecting you physically as well as emotionally and perhaps find sleeping and eating particularly difficult.
Dealing with strong emotions and all the things that need to be done after a death can also make you feel exhausted and drained. Close family and friends may be struggling with their own sadness and may find it difficult to know what to say or how to help, possibly leaving you feeling more isolated.
Allowing feelings to come out can help someone get used to their loss. Talking about the death and about the person who died, dealing with the practicalities of new situations and trying to think of the present as well as the past can all help someone get used to the reality of their loss and get through some of the anguish which they may be feeling.
HospiceCare provides a bereavement service to adults living in North Northumberland. It is a free service available to anyone who has suffered loss and bereavement and there does not need to have been any previous contact with the Hospice. People can refer themselves or a family member to the service or access it through a professional such as GP, Social Services or Community Nurses.
The Bereavement support is delivered by trained and skilled volunteers who have a knowledge and understanding of the physical and emotional pain people experience when grieving. The volunteers are not trained counsellors but provide a supportive ‘listening ear’ either in someone’s home or at the Hospice as a one-to-one appointment. The frequency and length of time offered for support is based on individual need. Alternatively, if you would prefer to talk to others who are also experiencing grief and loss, then the bereavement support group is available once a fortnight.