Bereavement is perhaps the most distressing experience that we will have in our lives. The grief and pain that follows the death of someone we love can be the most intense feeling that we ever have. There is no correct way of dealing with grief, and each of us will try to manage the loss in different ways. Among the common feelings that we may experience are: shock, pain, exhaustion, anger, guilt and loneliness.

Helpful ideas to help you at this difficult time:

  • Talk about what has happened- with a family member or a good friend. Talking about the death, and going over what actually happened as often as you need to, is one of the best things that  you can do

  • Give expression to your emotions – in a way that is comfortable for you. Shedding tears can be very therapeutic. Writing and keeping a diary can also be a good way of discharging your feelings

  • Find a way of remembering the person who has died - perhaps a photograph, an item of clothing or something else that you associate with the person. Make time to remember them, especially on birthdays, anniversaries and other times in the year that hold special memories for you. Consider visiting places which remind you of the person and the time that you shared together.

Not all of these suggestions will appeal to everyone. It is important to find out what works for you.

Sometimes people feel that they have become “stuck” and that, even after a considerable amount of time, they have been unable to move forward. Some of the signs of this include: excessive lack of motivation and concentration, sleeplessness, lack of appetite and enduring low mood. If you experience these symptoms, you may find it helpful to visit your GP, or to arrange to meet with a counsellor.

Finding support

The following services provide support for the bereaved:

The University’s Counselling Service

Chaplaincy Team

Cruse Bereavement Care

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

Edward’s Trust (for children and families who have been bereaved)

If there are any particular subjects that you would like to see covered in these pages, please contact the well-being team at wellbeing@aston.ac.uk.