It is normal to feel a whole range of emotions numbness, disbelief, anger, guilt, pain and yearning for your loved one, panic or fear. Accompanying this may be loss of sleep and inability to concentrate.
All of this is normal and may go on for days or months.
There is nothing that will take away the pain of losing a loved one. However, we know that support following the loss of a loved one is important. The best and most available support is usually that of our family, friends and our communities.
Reading about bereavement can be another source of support. It can help you to realise that what you are experiencing is natural and normal and also help you to understand why you might be responding or experiencing certain things.
If you feel you would like to read more about bereavement, we recommend the following:The Good Grief Trust Cruse – dealing with bereavement and grief At a loss NHS website – coping with bereavement
Help is available if you need it. If you feel you are struggling and might need some more support we would recommend you speak to your GP.
Supporting children and young people
There is a lot of help available to children and young people who are struggling with bereavement.
The principles of support from family and friends and of having information to help them understand what is happening is just as relevant for children as it is for adults.
However, the age of the child or young person is important to consider. Child bereavement UK has information and videos specific to supporting children of different ages.Child Bereavement UK Cruse – Children and Young People
Bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic
We understand that losing a loved one at any time is difficult, but the challenges posed by the current COVID-19 pandemic can make it even more so.
Isolation might mean that you are not able to spent time with friends and family in the same way and support each other as you might have done at other times, but you can still speak to people by telephone and videocall. Continuing to feel connected to others can help.
Because we recognise that COVID-19 may have made accessing this support more of a challenge, the NHS has set up a national COVID-19 Bereavement Helpline to offer guidance, support and advice.
This helpline operates from 8:00am to 8:00pm
Helpline: 0800 2600 400
COVID Marie Curie Newcastle Bereavement Support Service is designed to meet the needs of bereaved people in the community who have lost someone due to COVID, or whose grief process has been impacted by COVID.
Referrals can be made by a member of your healthcare team or directly to the hospice using the information below:
Telephone: 0191 219 1120
They will direct you to the self-referral process.
Telephone: 0191 2336161
(Ask for the on-call Chaplain available 24 hours a day)
Hospital Chaplains are not just there for the religious.
They provide supportive care to people of all faith and no faith.
They are trained to provide mental health first aid and are able to refer to other agencies as appropriate.
For information about practical information about what to do after a person has died:
Hospital Bereavement Officer
Telephone: 0191 223 1146 (Freeman Hospital)
Telephone: 0191 282 4348 (Royal Victoria Infirmary)
Available weekdays 08:30am to 4:30pm
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can offer on-the-spot advice and information about the NHS.
Freephone: 0800 032 02 02