Page written and resources collated by Emily Wheeler, Senior Wellbeing Practitioner
Bereavement is the experience of losing someone important to us. It is characterised by grief, which is the process and the range of emotions we go through as we gradually adjust to the loss. Losing someone important to us can be emotionally devastating - whether that be a partner, family member, friend or pet. It is natural to go through a range of physical and emotional processes as we gradually come to terms with the loss. Bereavement affects everyone in different ways, and it's possible to experience any range of emotions. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Feelings of grief can also happen because of other types of loss or changes in circumstances, for example:
- the end of a relationship
- the loss of a job
- moving away to a new location
- a decline in the physical or mental health of someone we care about
After any loss you may also feel what is known as 'secondary loss'. After the initial shock of losing a loved one you may struggle when thinking of future experiences that those people will not be there to share or see, such as watching your children grow up, meeting partners or attending key life events like weddings.
There is no time limit on grief, and this varies hugely person to person. The time spent in a period of bereavement will be different for everybody and depends on factors such as the type of relationship, the strength of attachment or intimacy to the person who died, the situation surrounding their death, and the amount of time spent anticipating the death.
Wellbeing Group Sessions
Bereavement and Me
How to live with grief. Talk with others about loss in a relaxed way.Book a place
Low mood and Me
Build motivation, boost mood. Manage your low mood, don't let it manage you.Book a place
Togetherall - Online coursesTogetherall is an online mental health community with a wealth of resources - available free to all staff and students. To access resources from Togetherall you need to register for an account here . You will only need to do this once. This will allow you to access many of the tools on our site.
Coping with grief and lossGo to course
Managing depression and low moodGo to course
Improve your sleepGo to course
Techniques to manage strong emotions, where you may feel overwhelmed, including stress.
Box Breathing Technique
A simple technique to help you to manage your breathing, and calm your stress levels or anxiety.
Podcasts and audio resources
Death affects us all. Yet it is still the last taboo in our society, and grief is profoundly misunderstood. Hosted by Julia Samuel – a grief psychotherapist with over twenty five years’ experience of working with the bereaved – we hear stories from those who have experienced great love and loss – and survived.Listen to the podcast
Grief Encounters is a weekly podcast series that looks at an issue that affects us all and yet remains so difficult to talk about: grief. Hosts Venetia Quick and Sasha Hamrogue hope to open up the conversation around loss and create a modern platform for people to share their own experiences, and start an open dialogue around the subject of death and all that comes with it.Listen
Griefcast is a podcast that examines the human experience of grief and death - but with comedians, so it’s cheerier than it sounds.Listen to the podcast
To read some of these articles and other resources on our site you will need to register with Togetherall. The process is quick and you only need to do it once.
Keeping alive the memory of our loved ones is an age-old ritual that helps us through bereavement. You may have lost that person in the physical sense, but in your heart and your head they are still with you. We suggest ways to reconnect with your loved ones.Read the article
How to Grieve
While there’s no right or wrong way to grieve - whether it's the loss of someone or something important to you - there are healthy ways to deal with some of the emotions you may be feeling.Read the article
Royal Institute of PsychiatryDownload resources
NHS Coping with BereavementDownload resources
Mind BereavementDownload resource
IAPT self help guideDownload resources
Help is at hand - for those bereaved by suicideDownload resource
Places to get help
Local and national organisations and websites.
Cruse help people through one of the most painful times in life – with bereavement support, information and campaigning.
The Good Grief Trust is providing vital resources for people experiencing bereavement, offering comfort, practical support and the knowledge that they are not alone.
This registered charity aims to give every child and young person access to the best possible support following the death of someone close.
Let's Talk About Loss is a support network for young people aged 18-35 who have been bereaved. Together, we're talking through the taboo.
Hospice UK’s Dying Matters campaign is working with you to create an open culture in which we’re comfortable talking about death, dying and bereavement.
Reading for Wellbeing
Facing Grief - Bereavement and the Young by Susan Walbank
"[Susan Wallbank] writes with great insight and compassion, yet deals with the sensitive and often complex aspects of grief in a direct style which makes this book very readable." Cruse Chronicle "A very clearly set-out compendium of wisdom on all aspects of dealing with a death of someone close ... Altogether a very useful tool ..." European Christian Bookstore Journal "All counsellors would greatly benefit from reading this handbook and having it available for reference ... Its practical advice goes far beyond the good publications which are available on 'what to do when someone dies'." Christian HeraldBuy the book
Through Grief - the bereavement journey by Elizabeth Collick
Elizabeth Collick, herself a widow, writes out of her own experience and that of many others to describe what happens, in the hope that it may bring strenght and support to those in grief. She writes of the yearning ache, the strange fears, the anger, guilt, frustration, loneliness and lostness which makes up bereavement. The book does not seek to soothe pain, but to help people 'come through' to life on the far side of grief. The book is also helpful to professional carer - nurses, ministers, doctors, social workers and others - and to reletives, friends, neighbours and colleages of someone suffering bereavement.Read the book
Grief works by Julia Samuel
Death is the last taboo in our society, and grief is still profoundly misunderstood. So many of us feel awkward and uncertain around death, and shy away from talking honestly with family and friends. 'Grief Works' is a compassionate guide that will inform and engage anyone who is grieving, from the 'expected' death of a parent to the sudden unexpected death of a small child, and provide clear advice for those seeking to comfort the bereaved.Read the book
Grief worksDownload the app
Meditation, mindfulness, relaxation.Download the app