End of life and bereavement support

Patient and loved one holding hands

The death of a loved one is something that, very sadly, we all have to go through at some point in our lives.

How will I feel?

When someone close to you dies, it is an intensely personal experience and although there are some common aspects of bereavement, there is no 'normal' reaction. How you feel and react will be completely unique to you.

You may experience any one of a wide range of emotions, which may change in nature and intensity without any sense of pattern.

There is no right or wrong way of grieving and there is no set time for the grief itself to last - it would be weeks, months or even years. Your feelings will be a natural reaction to losing someone who is close and dear to you.

Where can I go for support?

Our booklet 'Losing someone to heart disease' can offer you help and support with the loss of a loved one to heart disease. It aims to:

  • help you understand the ways in which grief and bereavement might affect you
  • offer guidance in coping with the complex and sometimes overwhelming collection of emotions you may feel
  • provide guidance on legal procedures and practical and financial matters have you may have to deal with.

It includes contact details of organisations that will be able to offer you further support, both in coping with your loss and in handling the various procedures that need to be followed when someone dies.

Find me help

You can find help that's local to you through the Dying Matters service help.dyingmatters.org. It offers links to local services including practical care or emotional support.

It's useful if you are looking for help for yourself or for someone you care for.

Talking to someone about your feelings can be one of the most important ways to help you cope with your grief. If you feel you would benefit from talking to someone about your loss then the charity Cruse Bereavement Care may offer services in your area, including bereavement support and counselling. If you cannot access their services in your area, then our Counselling page lists other places that you can go for help.

Support for children

Small Creature - Children's bereavement resourceWe have a special set of resources for children who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. Find out how Small Creature can help with childhood bereavement.

For further support you can contact the childhood bereavement charity Winston's Wish which offers practical support and guidance to bereaved children and their families.