Bereavement & Loss
The loss of a loved one through separation, divorce or death can be a traumatic life event and can cause a major emotional crisis. It is important to remember that these intense feelings of loss are normal – there is a grieving process, which differs for everyone, and recovery can be slow and painful. If you feel you can’t cope and need help talk to your doctor and look at the different support services that are available.
At some point in our lives we all have to live through the pain of losing someone we love through death. For young people, it may be a first-time experience and people often try to avoid speaking about it. Over the years bereavement becomes more familiar, extending to our family, friends, and colleagues and to spouses and perhaps even our children.
Bereavement can have a serious impact on our mental health. When someone dies, we enter the process of grieving. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and we can experience a wide range of emotions as we come to terms with someone’s death.
Normal feelings include:
- being stunned at the loss
- longing for the person who has died
- anger towards yourself
- guilt over a last encounter or what you would have liked them to know
- sadness or depression.
It is not unusual to think you hear or see the person who has died. This can be part of the grieving process.
Eventually, the shock of bereavement and the strength of feelings should begin to fade, but it does take time to go through this process and it may affect your mental health.
If this happens, it is important to get help through your doctor or a bereavement support group.
When someone you love or are close to leaves e.g. through divorce or separation you can experience similar emotions to bereavement. This feeling can be just as painful and you should seek advice or support if this is affecting your ability to cope.
Where to go for advice and support
If you or someone you know is suffering from loss due to a separation or divorce, it will help to talk about it with someone else before it becomes a problem and affects your mental health.
You can speak to your doctor in the first instance, but there are also other specialist professionals, bereavement counsellors and support services who can help. You can find out more by following these links
Help and support
Types of support available Counselling, Support Groups, Websites, Helpline