Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Places I've been

The following links below mark the 21 most recent pages you have visited in Sunderland.ac.uk.

Coping with bereavement

The death of someone emotionally significant to us is likely to be the most severe loss we can experience. Bereavement is a natural process of adjusting to loss, and usually involves a complex welter of feelings over an extended period of time.

If you want to talk to someone following a bereavement the Marie Curie Bereavement Support Service is here for you. Call for free to discuss practical and emotional concerns with one of our trained Support Line Officers or get ongoing support from a bereavement volunteer. Call 0800 090 2309.

Read more on their website: https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/bereavement 

The experience of bereavement is different for everyone, and no two bereavements are identical. A bereaved person may experience one or more of a confusingly wide range of feelings, typically including the following:

• Shock and confusion - If your loss is sudden, you may experience some degree of shock. Under the pressure of such an event you may feel confused and find it difficult to manage as you normally would.
• Denial - You may find it difficult to accept that the person has died. Denial can take a number of different forms, including constantly talking about the person and behaving as if they were still alive.
• Guilt - You may feel guilty, perhaps for still being alive or for feeling in some way responsible for the death. You may experience regret, disappointment or have a sense that you have missed an opportunity to express your feelings for them.
• Anger - Anger is a common response to situations of loss and can be a frightening emotion to deal with. You may feel anger towards your loved one for dying, or anger toward people who you believe might have been responsible, or even angry at people who have not suffered a loss.
• Sadness and depression - As you begin to accept that the person has died, you may feel sad and depressed, recognising that much in your life has changed. It might seem to you that what has happened is unfair.

The NHS has a self-help leaflet about Bereavement that you may want to read through. You can visit their self-help leaflet page to access this in a variety of ways such as audio, British Sign Language, and with different accessibility features and language translation. 

Helping Yourself

It is important to have support during this time and to try to come to terms with your feelings. Parents, friends and family can often be supportive. 

We would also recommend reaching out to your GP first and explaining your situation or how you are feeling. If you are unsure of where your nearest GP is you can use NHS’s ‘find a GP’. The NHS also has a helpful self-help guide covering bereavement which you can read here. 

Talking to someone who is not involved in your life can help you recognise patterns of behaviour and find your strengths. The University's Counselling Service has a team of qualified and experienced counsellors who can help you to make sense of, and cope with your feelings, your experience and your life. If you need support, you can submit a self-referral form to our service.

Helping Others

Sometimes all a bereaved person wants is to be heard without interruption or being offered solutions. Listening to a friend or partner who has been bereaved makes you feel you should say or do something.

Often, just being there and giving your full attention is enough. If you are concerned about a student after a bereavement you can refer them to our service by contacting us at wellbeing@sunderland.ac.uk.

Allow the person to express their feelings openly. Attempting to distract the bereaved from their grief through forced cheerfulness is not helpful. Anger is a common response to grief. Avoid being defensive and listen.

Support Services

close tray menu