How to cope with grief and bereavement – a free grief guide

The death of a loved one is among some of life’s most devastating and traumatic experiences. It often comes as a shock and it’s likely to have an impact on most aspects of your life, health and wellbeing. Although the grief and bereavement which follow such loss are individual, they can leave behind a trail of contradicting emotions and feelings. We teamed up with author and grief ambassador Mark Alexander to create a free grief guide which you can download here.

Coping With Grief & Bereavement is designed to help you understand bereavement and the grieving process. It shows you the causes of common grief symptoms and it offers guidance on how to look after yourself whilst grieving the loss of your loved one. The information is organised in six sections: 

Types of loss

Grief is a lengthy and complex process which, among other things, is determined by your relationship with the deceased person and the circumstances of their death. Grieving the loss of someone who died as a result of a long illness is different to that of someone who was a victim of a road accident.

In this section of the guide, we show you how your relationship with the deceased person and the circumstances of their death are likely to affect you.

Emotional effects of grief

You are likely to go through contradictory feelings and emotions which can often leave you confused. You need to remind yourself that these are normal reactions to your loss and that they get better with time. 

This section of the guide offers an explanation of the emotional effects of grief and offers a list of symptoms which may affect you during your bereavement. 

Physical effects of grief

The shock and trauma of losing a loved one trigger a series of physiological reactions and changes in your body which are designed to protect you against it.

In this section of the guide, we explain the physical effects of grief and offer a list of symptoms which you may experience during your bereavement.

Looking after yourself

The initial shock, the lead up to the funeral and the overwhelming emotions at the beginning stages of grief take over quickly and make it easy to neglect your own health and wellbeing. Looking after yourself at this difficult time is more important than ever.

In this section of the guide, we show you what you can do to look after your emotional and physical health as well as maintaining a social life after your loss.

After the funeral 

The list of things that need to be done when someone dies is quite long and urgent. Ticking them off as you work your way through it makes the days go quicker. That, combined with the initial shock, takes your mind off the loss and any feelings associated with it. Friends and family are also likely to be around, lending their support and helping with what they can to take off some of the burden. 

In this section of the guide, we list some of the things that need to be done after the funeral and we offer a list of bereavement help and support sources. 

Help & support 

The loss of a loved one can make you feel hopeless, powerless and failing to “see the point” in doing anything. It’s important to remember that these are normal states of being and that they get better with time. Nobody can tell you how long it takes to get through them but talking to family members and friends helps. Occupying your time with activities you enjoy or taking up a hobby also helps. 

In this section of our free grief guide, we offer a list of organisations which offer different types of bereavement help and support. 

Grief is not something which you can force or hurry. Give yourself permission to grieve and plenty of time to work your way through it. Remember that there are organisations which exist to help and support bereaved people in different circumstances. Don’t suffer in silence and make use of them when you need it.

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