The death of a loved one is always a deeply upsetting experience; whether the loss is expected or sudden makes no difference to the impact on your family. Everyone has their own way of coping with bereavement and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
Grief is a natural part of life, not something to simply ‘get over’, and many people require bereavement support after the death of a loved one for a variety of reasons. Bereavement can cause feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, frustration and anxiety and it’s completely normal for you to want help with processing your feelings.
There a variety of organisations in Sussex who can help you at this difficult time.
Cruse Bereavement Care
This is the leading charity of its kind in the UK, working with people of all ages when they’ve lost someone they love. They offer confidential advice, support and practical information to bereaved people in person, over the phone and online and id provided by their team of 5,000 volunteers.
Cruse Bereavement Care is a national charity but has a base in Brighton, offering bereavement support across both East Sussex and West Sussex. They provide drop in groups, individual support sessions as well as offering specialist Bereavement Awareness Training for businesses.
NHS Bereavement Offices
Many NHS hospitals or independent hospices will have a bereavement office to support families of patients who pass away in their care. They can offer emotional support as well as practical guidance on funeral arrangements and legal requirements. Examples of Sussex based hospitals who have Bereavement Offices include Royal Sussex County Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital.
You can also use the NHS Choices website to search for other bereavement services in your local area using your post code here.
St Michael’s Hospice
This hospice in Hastings runs Bereavement services for anyone in the local area who needs help with grief. You can access the services whether your loved one passes away in the hospice or not and you don’t need to have had an existing relationship with St Michaels to get help. You can approach them at any time following your loss, whether it happened days ago or months ago they can still offer you support.
The services they offer individual support as well as group sessions, ‘Greif Recovery with Support’ social evenings, Walk and Talk Groups and a monthly socialist group to provide opportunities for people to share experiences with others who are also grieving for lost relatives.
You can find out how St Michael’s Hospice can help you here.
Speaking to a councillor may help you if you are finding it hard to cope with the loss of a loved one. Contacting your GP is advisable as they can help you with any mental health issues and offer solutions such as local NHS talking therapies.
Private counselling is also an option and you can find experienced, professional counsellors in Sussex using BACP’s therapist directory here. Selecting a counsellor who is a registered member of BACP gives you reassurance that they are qualified and meet their high standards of practice.
Other organisations who may be able to help include:
- National Association of Widows – a service for widowed men and women
- The Samaritans – a help line for anyone who needs someone to talk to
- The Silver Line – a specialist helpline for older people
- Bereavement Advice Centre – emotional and practical advice for bereaved people