Coping with bereavement

The death of a loved one can be devastating. Bereavement counsellor Sarah Smith describes some of the feelings that can arise from losing someone, and where you can go for help and support.

Bereavement affects people in different ways. There's no right or wrong way to feel. “You might feel a lot of emotions at once, or feel you’re having a good day, then you wake up and feel worse again,” says Sarah, who works at Trinity Hospice in London. She says powerful feelings can come unexpectedly. “It’s like waves on a beach. You can be standing in water up to your knees and feel you can cope, then suddenly a big wave comes and knocks you off your feet.”

Experts generally accept that there are four stages of bereavement: 

  • accepting that your loss is real
  • experiencing the pain of grief
  • adjusting to life without the person who has died 
  • putting less emotional energy into grieving and putting it into something new (in other words, moving on)

You'll probably go through all these stages, but you won’t necessarily move smoothly from one to the next. Your grief might feel chaotic and out of control, but these feelings will eventually become less intense. Give yourself time, as they will pass. You might feel:

  • shock and numbness (this is usually the first reaction to the death, and people often speak of being in a daze)
  • overwhelming sadness, with lots of crying
  • tiredness or exhaustion
  • anger, for example towards the person who died, their illness or God
  • guilt, for example guilt about feeling angry, about something you said or didn’t say, or about not being able to stop your loved one dying

“These feelings are all perfectly normal,” says Sarah. “The negative feelings don’t make you a bad person. Lots of people feel guilty about their anger, but it’s OK to be angry and to question why.”

She adds that some people become forgetful and less able to concentrate. You might lose things, such as your keys. This is because your mind is distracted by bereavement and grief, says Sarah. You're not losing your sanity.

The GOV.UK website has information on what to do after someone dies, such as registering the death and planning a funeral.

Coping with grief

Talking and sharing your feelings with someone can help. Don’t go through this alone. For some people, relying on family and friends is the best way to cope. But if you don’t feel you can talk to them much (perhaps you aren't close, or they're grieving too), you can contact local bereavement services through your GP, local hospice, or the national Cruse helpline on 0844 477 9400.

A bereavement counsellor can give you time and space to talk about your feelings, including the person who has died, your relationship, family, work, fears and the future. You can have access to a bereavement counsellor at any time, even if the person you lost died a long time ago.

Don't be afraid to talk about the person who has died. People in your life might not mention their name because they don't want to upset you. But if you feel you can't talk to them, it can make you feel isolated.

Anniversaries and special occasions can be hard. Sarah suggests doing whatever you need to do to get through the day. This might be taking a day off work or doing something that reminds you of that person, such as taking a favourite walk.

If you need help to move on

Each bereavement is unique, and you can’t tell how long it will last. “In general, the death and the person might not constantly be at the forefront of your mind after around 18 months,” says Sarah. This period may be shorter or longer for some people, which is normal.

Your GP or a bereavement counsellor can help if you feel that you're not coping. Some people also get support from a religious minister. You might need help if:

  • you can’t get out of bed
  • you neglect yourself or your family, for example you don't eat properly
  • you feel you can’t go on without the person you’ve lost
  • the emotion is so intense it’s affecting the rest of your life, for example you can’t face going to work or you’re taking your anger out on someone else

These feelings are normal as long as they don’t last for a long time. “The time to get help depends on the person,” says Sarah. “If these things last for a period that you feel is too long, or your family say they’re worried, that’s the time to seek help. Your GP can refer you, and they can monitor your general health.”

Some people turn to alcohol or drugs during difficult times. Get help cutting down on alcohol, or see the Frank website for information on drugs.

Pre-bereavement care

If someone has an incurable illness, they and their loved ones can prepare for bereavement. “Practical things can help, such as discussing funeral arrangements together and making a will,” says Sarah.

Bereavement counsellors also offer pre-bereavement care, helping patients and their family cope with their feelings. This can be especially important for children, Sarah explains. “Children’s stress levels are at their highest before their family member dies, so support during this time is important.”

Find out more about children and bereavement from the Childhood Bereavement Network.

Adult bereavement

The death of a loved one can be devastating. Watch how Penny, who was widowed in 2005, coped with the sudden death of her husband. Also get advice from a bereavement counsellor about how to deal with your emotions and where to find support.

Media last reviewed: 23/10/2014

Next review due: 23/10/2016

Page last reviewed: 03/07/2014

Next review due: 03/07/2016


How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 402 ratings

All ratings

Add your rating


The 39 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Lb95 said on 18 September 2015

On 21st August this year I lost one of my closest friends. I am 19, as was she. She died after being hit by a drunk driver whilst walking on the pavement with her boyfriend. I've never lost somebody close to me before and the grief is overwhelming and affecting me in ways I didn't think it would. I can't get over the fact that her life was so unfairly and selfishly ended by someone's actions and I don't know how to cope with the knowledge that there is so much she will not get to do. I'm hoping time is a good healer as I feel at this moment that nothing could ease the pain I feel.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Bluemoon8 said on 28 August 2015

I'm 23. My mum died 2 years ago. I've had horrible general anxiety disorder and depression. I am unhappy most days and don't enjoy much. I've kinda given up and feels like my mind is breaking as I keep moving area and can't cope with the adjusting. Suicidal thoughts and no sense of a future though I don't think I'll act on it. Trying to get support with counselling. Terrible not directly related guilt in a loop. Prone to panic attacks. I'm on antidepressants now.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Phizzy1 said on 14 July 2015

I lost my husband just over a year ago to cancer - he was only 37 and it was a very sudden onset and diagnosis - just 4 weeks later he was gone. I have had amazing support from a charity called Widowed and Young (WAY) and it has been a lifeline for me this year. All I can say is that grief is such a unique journey for each and every one of us. Of course I miss him everyday but talking with others in the same situation has really helped me to process my feelings and I am starting to feel some peace now although I understandably still struggle along the way. Please reach out and talk to others if you are bereaved. Nobody else will be able to understand what the finality of death is like for the ones who are left unless they have been through it. I write a lot about my journey which has helped me as well - and I write with the intention of supporting others and sharing my hope for living once again in this new world.

My blog is called the fuschia tree. I dont know if you will find it of any help but i recently summarised my first year of widowhood and thought I may share it with you if you are on the journey of life without your soulmate.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

LisaLou82 said on 07 May 2015

My partner lost his father to multiple brain tumours 23 years ago when he was only 8 years old. I have only been with him for four months but in that time have learnt that his mother turned to alcohol and used him as a beating stick for her emotions. He became withdrawn at that age and as he got older he turned to alcohol and substance abuse himself and has never really grieved. In the time that I have been with him he has spoken about his dad a lot and has cried to me, which is the most he has ever really expressed to anyone. He has depression, social phobia and is suicial and says that I am the only thing that keeps him going. I want to be able to help him but I don't know where to turn as he isn't open to counselling. He tried it for 9 months and felt it didn't help but I am not sure if he ever mentioned his father during those sessions.

It breaks my heart to see the pain behind his smile and in his eyes and as much as I hurt for his mother for the tragic loss of the man that she loved I feel that she has made his grieving process almost impossible. She has put him down and called him bad things all of his life and he says that he hates her but I know that they have lost their bond through grief.

I just don't know what to do. I know that nobody can save another person but I am damn well going to try I just don't know where to start. I don't push him to talk, he generally does that as and when he feels able. I love him with all of my heart and just want him to be able to start to move on and would appreciate any advice anyone may be able to provide.

Thanks x

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

nikki jane said on 06 April 2015

It's not been long since we lost mum on 21st Jan this year,we as a family got through mum's birthday mothers day n Easter, but I feel like I'm locking my feelings away I keep having flash backs from the day mum went in hospital x

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

nikki jane said on 23 March 2015

It's been nearly 10eks since we lost mum,yet I still don't feel I've accepted it,even thou I vidit her graveside every day, I'm bk at work n looking after my son n my family but I have so many thoughts going in my head n my heart aches all the time,I feel cheated n robbed of my mum,sometimes I can't cope at all n think about ending my own life,I don't talk to ppl about these feelings thou, a few nights before my mum passed she opened her eyes n looked at us n she looked so sad n scared n there was nothing I could do but tell her I loved her I miss her so much its unbearable it really is.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Babba1234 said on 13 March 2015

I wrote on here a little while back explaining how I felt after the death of my beautiful father leroy.You never get over the loss of a loved one but you learn to live with it.Im getting married next year and I feel breathless just the thought of my dad not walking me down the aisle.I know he will be with me that day,I have three brothers that will take it in turns to walk me down,and a wonderful partner of 17 years who will be waiting for me.greif is such a powerful thing but also natural,I'm still grieving 2 years on,there's no time period on it,but reading other people's stories of there loss certainly helps,bless you all xx

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

nell86 said on 02 March 2015

I lost my Nanna in March 2014. It feels like a part of me has died with her, she was like my mam. She was diagnosed with cancer and given weeks left to live, me and my little boy spent the day with her the day before, it was like the old days, laughing and smiling. I took her back the hospice where she was staying and said goodbye. It was the last time i saw her alive. The day she died has been so traumatic for me i dont think ill ever get over it, i was driving on the motorway on my way to see her when my mam told me she was dead. She had been breathless and lay down in bed, the nurse when to get her doctor, came back and she was dead. It was deep vein thrombosis that killed her. I cant even explain how i feel, its coming up to a year since she died and the pain is so raw. I just throw myself intoworking full time, and keeping busy so i dont think about it. My little boy asks where she is and when shes coming bk from heaven, it rips my heart to shreads. She was the glue that held my family togther and i cant talk to my mam as shes in a bad place too. Cancer is such a devastating disease, it rips your family apart. I just hope my nanna is watching me and can see my little boy. People say shes always with me but i dont feel it, i think im still hurting so much its hard to think that shes gone.....

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

nikki jane said on 27 February 2015

Hi guys I'm so sorry to hear about your loses,I lost my mum on 21st January this year she had lung n brain cancer but we never knew until it was to late, we found out on 28th Dec n had here fir 3 wks I feel so cheated n robbed the pain is so deep,I have nightmares n regrets,she passed away at home with us there but I still feel she's not got I can't truly let go if I do then shes hone forever I have a lil boy n partner n family but that still don't fill the void inside my heart,I'm returning to work soon to try for some normality but it's like I'm on the go all the time to block these feelings out.. my heart is empty she was my mum n best buddy xx

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Maxine94 said on 26 February 2015

2014 saw the loss of three close people in my life, my Aunty, my close friend and The absolute worst being my dad who died unexpectedly a week after my 20th birthday. I was at university all this while, he'd gone to a work do and I'd spoken to him on the same day. Unfortunately he didn't return home. He left behind my mum and my brother and its been the hardest thing. We were so close, I loved him so much. Honestly I think I'd been coping pretty well, even went back to uni to do my exams, but lately it's been so hard. It's still unreal to me. On top of that there'd been an investigation following his death so his body hadn't been released for burial. Only now are things starting to happen and it's all hitting me. I can't believe he's going to miss all the milestone moments in my life. I can't believe I have to live life without my wonderful daddy. I'm so heartbroken and distraught.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

ChristinesPaul said on 18 February 2015

The love of my life died in my arms in August 2014 following a second battle with cancer. A piece of me died when Paul died and my life as I knew it will never be the same again. Im learning to live a new way of living. My relationship with Paul is still very real and I feel as close to him as ever. I will always love Paul and I love the fact that I still do, how could I not!...... but I miss him terribly. I can just about live without him in the physical sense but Paul will always be with me - he is always holding my hand in our special hand holding way and is with me through the good and the bad times. I get by just feeling he is for the time being out of reach. Just as a blind person I cant see him, as a deaf person I cant hear him but I certaily feel him, I feel our mutual love in every fibre of my being. And thats what gets me through each day.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

gem222 said on 11 February 2015

I lost my Dad on the 6th October 2014. It was a tragic accident, there is an inquest into his death and so there has been no real closure yet. We had to wait 5 weeks until we were allowed to have his funeral. I cannot begin to come to terms with the grief I am experiencing. I was off work for around 3 months and my Mum is currently living with me and my partner. I am 32 years old, an only child, unmarried and without children. All of the things I was looking forward to in life I now dread. Walking down the aisle without him, my first child being born. Every happy, new experience tinged with tragedy. I'm back at work now. I'm not really back - I sit in a waking dream trying to act okay, trying to complete simple tasks. I find it difficult to be upset in front of my Mum as I don't want her to be burdened with my grief as well as her own. So I bottle it up. Allow myself a cry when I'm sat in traffic. I probably need counselling but haven't got round to making that first step yet. Maybe this is it.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

sjc193 said on 10 February 2015

I lost my Grandad to a heart attack, my mum's dad, when I was 14 and on the 16th it will be 5 years, I lost my other Grandad to cancer nearly 3 years ago in April and recently my nan, my mum's mum, lost her battle with Lung cancer even though she never smoked a day in her life. I've experienced several types of grief, the shock when you don't know it's coming and the grief when you know someone is ill and it's just a matter of how long. Time does make it easier but when I think about them and the last few times I saw them I feel incredibly sad and sometimes guilty for things I didn't say, especially with my nan. I also feel like I didn't really grieve for my nan, her death didn't really feel real and the funeral didn't go according to plan. I miss all of them so much and I still struggle with memories every now and again but for the most part time is healing, I'm just scared of if I let go of the sadness then I'll some how be forgetting them and I don't want to do that.
(I apologise if this made no sense, haven't done something like this before and I just wrote what came to mind)

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

sjs123 said on 23 January 2015

I lost my beautiful daughter Hollie on 1st September 2014, she was only 24. I cannot tell you how devastated I still feel, and to be honest the pain seems to be getting more intense as the time goes by. I miss her so much, I still cannot accept that I will never see her again, I miss hearing her laugh, miss her calling me mum, miss seeing her lovely smile. We have her beautiful little daughter who is only 3 to bring up, she is actually a god send because we have to try and be strong for her. sometimes I feel as though I am going mad, I know that she has gone, but my my heart just wont accept it. I still feel as though I am in a daze about it all. I really do not know if I will ever feel the same again, there are so many memories all around our house, from photographs to gifts and trinkets that she got for us over the years. How on earth does anyone get over losing their baby? Sometimes my grief is so overwhelming that I have difficulty breathing and I feel as though a part of me is missing and my heart is actually broken. I lost my dad 12 years ago and it took me a few years to get over his death, but to be honest looking back, my grief was different from how I am feeling about losing Hollie. Its just a total feeling of having lost a part of me that I will never get back, like a sickness to the pit of your stomach, like a longing for something or someone that you can never have. Like an illness that cannot be cured.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Lora02 said on 08 January 2015

I lost my amazing Father Christmas morning 2014 suddenly. I don't understand what has just happened to our family and still can't believe this has happened as he was not sick and very fit and healthy! He took a massive heart attack and was found on the floor. I spoke to him on the phone half hr before he died an wished him merry Christmas and told him me and the kids would be down in hr to open presents and when I got there he was dead. I'm soo angry had someone been there sooner he may have got second chance as his two younger brothers have both had heart attacks and live to tell the tale. I don't know how to go on or to help my mother get over this lose as he was the heartbeat of our family.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Babba1234 said on 01 January 2015

I lost my dad suddenly on 9 th July 2013, he was 54 and truly amazing.i have three brothers and I'm the only girl.i have never felt pain like this in my life,it is unbearable.we are a very close family,I'm truly blessed.grieving is natural but I'm so scared of it.what helps for me is talking,talking to family,friends and my dad.i have a wonderful partner and three amazing children.they keep me strong everyday but inside I'm so weak.i prey that one day i will find that inner strength but at the moment it's killing me.I know I'm not the only one who is experiencing grief and sometimes you feel like you are,but after reading through so many other comments I don't feel so alone.god bless you all

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Ladywriter1968 said on 19 November 2014

My Father died the weekend Nov 15th 2014, I feel awful most of the time with upbeat moments. What we dont realise is, we have so much to organise, the funeral and all the other stuff, that we some times dont actually have time to grieve and accept it because we are to busy running around sorting out everything, as we tell ourselves, we have to hold it together to be sane to be able to organise everything, especially if your the only next of kin, it adds even more stress on top. To make matters worse work places dont care these days, they only give a few days off and expect you to go to work and get on with it. Its not happening to them is it. My husband was only given a couple of days to be with me by his firm. My Mum died when I was a child, no siblings. it just makes it worse. But my Dad is at piece now as he was so ill with dementia later stages and heart disease along with other things. but to ask what we feel is everything all mixed in at once, like a cake with salt and sugar at same time that hasnt melted. I feel "anyhow" like I am in a haze just floating thru and everyone else is just doing their daily routines as I float past them. But we still have to live in reality and pay our bills and carry on to. We do it on automatic pilot I think.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

welshone2014 said on 07 November 2014

We are all struggling but are united in grief. My husband of almost thirty years died six weeks ago. It helps to write it down to make it more real.
A friend in the US wrote to me that "Anyone who tries to put a time limit on your grief has never lost a piece of their heart"
Thank you for all your comments, it is so devastating. Other people think they understand but no one truly knows unless they have been through it.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Tweet60 said on 20 October 2014

I have read these comments and I want to thank each of you for sharing your pain - it helps to know that other people are like me struggling to "move on". What all these messages reflect back to me though is loved these people we have lost have been...and how loved they made us feel...I take great comfort from that.
I lost my darling Smudge May 26th 2014, he collapsed and died whilst out walking. Something broke inside me when the police told me...I felt it go know when you have broken a limb.
I have tried so hard to hold it all together, & I finally came away alone to our holiday home in Turkey fora holiday..and I am crying every day...its almost like a continual leak!. It feels like I am being self pitying but I only do it in a guilty secret..what is that about? Now I know what a howl of anguish sounds like...because finally I can SCREAM and noone can hear me. I am writing this with tears streaming down my face and I dont know why...I am not a weepy person usually....will this EVER stop.? How do I get a grip??.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Jvo said on 19 October 2014

I lost my husband in July2014 he had mnd this is the most horrible illness to have to watch the person you love so much getting slowley worse everyday not able to talk swallow and walk is awful for someone who had been so active all his life he never complained and smiled everyday he was taken from me very suddendly due to a reaction to antibiotics was dead within four hours of being given them.
It's something I feel I will never get over my life feels so empty without him the house is so empty everyday the same just trying to get through each day is so hard but I know I must try for his sake because he was such a wonderful husband dad and granfer and I know he wouldn't want me to be like this but it's not easy

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

sweetbud said on 10 October 2014

@Chillibean-I made an account just to reply to your post. ..I'm sending you some love sweetheart....I can totally relate to everything you have said, I am feeling the same way and reading your post made me feel that it must be ok to feel like that....Your darling bear is still loving you BIG... My lush furry fella .......I can't say it,but it happened on the 8th August 2014...I'm so sorry you have to feel the way you are feeling right now girl, I think I am feeling the same..... no words can console you I know but I am thinking of you Chillibean xxx

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Chillibean said on 25 September 2014

My Beautiful Paul, my soul mate, my best friend - the love of my life, passed away on 19th August 2014. Im totally lost without him. Im still madly in love with him - am I allowed to be? I still feel his love radiating through me and I take some comfort in knowing that whilst I cant see my darling bear, I cant hear him nor can I touch him I can feel him - I feel his presence, i feel his love in my heart. The pain none the less in unbearable at times. Im trying to cope by feeling that our relationship has just taken on a different form and he is in a different place that I dont have access to. Im still very much part of a couple. Is it healthy to feel like this?

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

veronica 12 said on 04 September 2014

msjade93 I empathise with you.

My beautiful husband of 40 years died June 2013. People told me once I get through the 'firsts' such as birthdays, anniversaries things would get better How can things get better? I don't think I will recover but will learn to get along without him. You are right time is a good healer.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

msjade93 said on 28 July 2014

its a year tommorrow since my fiancee died , the pain of loosing him is coming back to me , the memroies we made together are all coming back , its been the hardest year of my life, i have found time is the greatest healer

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Catian said on 14 July 2014

Its been almost 2 years since I lost my Dad, he was my rock and the parent who raised me. Since the day after his passing, I have suffered from panic/anxiety/severe depression and I'm also now an agoraphobic. I take anti depressants but they only help with certain aspects of my grief. I am waiting to see a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and I just hope that this will help me. According to my Counsellor, I'm stuck in the first stage of grief and my brain has shielded itself from any more pain. It feels to me as if I only lost my Dad 2 weeks ago, the pain is still so raw. I am tired of people telling me to move on as I just can't...I need help badly.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Annie78 said on 14 July 2014

My mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a few years ago. She suffered dreadfully throughout this horrifying illness due to surgery, chemotherapy, recurring ascites and abdominal drains, sickness, lethargy etc. She spent the last 5 months of her life in our local hospice where she gradually deteriorated until her death on 13 February 2014...She was 54 years old. She fought the whole way through and was positive and enjoyed the time she had left when she felt well. Since her death my emotions have been all over the place. I find myself crying at he most random times and have to hide in work at times because I can't hold it in. I had to back to work a day after the funeral because I don't get paid when i'm off. Although this has been a positive distraction, I feel I need some time to grieve, scream, cry and come to terms with my loss. My mother in law also died suddenly 3 weeks before my mum so my husband and I are both facing the exact same thing and finding it hard to communicate with each other as it won't change anything. I'm struggling to sleep because every time I close my eyes I see her and keep imagining what it must have been like for her to lie there for all those months waiting to die while trying to remain strong for us. I fell like i'm living in a horrible dream and am just going through the day to day motions. I feel depressed and cheated. How do you begin to come to terms with the fact that you'll never see your mum again?? She done so much for us. Nothing was real until I told her. She kept us all together, I miss her so much.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Magentas said on 11 June 2014

my partner died on the 14th May 2014 aged 60. He went out to work and didn't come home. there was no illness or any indication and literally just dropped down dead at work . I had that awful knock at the door by the Police.
I have been through the post mortem and funeral but the shock and disbelief is overwhelming and I am still sort of holding on to some hope that this is all a nasty joke . I have just returned to work also but feel like I am operating in a slow motion fog. i think there is the expectation that things settle down after the funeral but they dont seem too.
The suddeness and shock feels totally different to my mother who when diagnosed with cancer died within 4 weeks. the world carries on around me but I am not part of it. it feels scary and lonely, I have no routine i miss him so much our day to day life that just blended into one.
You hear about these things but never think they will happen .
Someone told me that sudden grief feels like you have just come out of intensive care, the pain is definitely physical .. sickness, aches, tiredness like I have never experienced.
I am also so forgetful about everything .. all part of the symptoms of grief and bereavement apparently ... .I know I have to piece things back together but at the moment it feels like an impossible task ... to anyone in the same situ .. look after yourself and know you are not alone.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

User41364 said on 25 May 2014

My mum died from breast cancer in January 2013. She was in hospital for several weeks but even though she knew the prognosis she didn't tell me that she only had a few months left to live. When I eventually found out from a doctor, that she was dying, I told her I knew and she was relieved that she didn't have to tell me.

She came out of hospital in late July and was very happy and cheerful, pottering around the house and garden. In early October she became bedridden and was given 24 hr care, which I found out was 'end of life care'. My sister moved in with her and so did my brother in law and their children.

As I said, my dear 80 yr old mum, died in January 2013. Not long after, I had a huge fall out with my sister and we have not spoken since. Not long after that my daughter, who lives with me, went on holiday and left me totally alone for a week.

I am having a lot of issues about the fact that she left me when we should have being supporting each other at such a difficult time and this, I think, has caused my grieving process to be delayed, so much that I am only now beginning the process. None of this is helped by the fact that I can't stand the sight or sound of her boyfriend who she seems to be besotted with.

I suppose I still need time to adjust but I feel so miserable, lost and lonely.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

jordyn said on 13 May 2014

My darling husband died on the 10th April, 2014. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer on 9th January but did not feel ill until 10 days before he died. He was always saying he thought that the diagnosis was incorrect as he felt well. Unfortunately he developed wheezing and breathing difficulties and in the course of 10 days had passed away. This has been hard to accept how quickly we lost him and I still feel in somewhat of a daze. My daughter has done everything from arranging the funeral to ordering cremation rings for us both and keepsakes for her 4 children.

I am dealing with this loss ok during the day but find that when I close the curtains at night and am truly on my own I feel desperately lonely. We had been together 53 years and would have celebrated our golden wedding anniversary on the 13th June, 2014. I was only 15 when we met and cannot remember a time when he was not in my life.

It helps to write about him as he was a wonderful person and I could not have wished for a more loving husband. Perhaps it will get better in time but at the moment I seriously doubt it.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Paula75 said on 29 April 2014

I am so sorry to hear about you losing your beautiful mum. I lost my mom last year. It hasn't got any easier yet I'm afraid. I am in the same situation as you. Keeping my dad going and people forget i lost my mom and ask me how my dad is. Hello I'm the one without a mom. As for friends you do find out who is there for you and who isn't i found that out the hard way. My perfect mom was only 63 and i wanted her for a whole lot longer. Maybe it does get easier but for me a year on I'm still struggling. Sending you lots of

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Nade1975 said on 26 April 2014

My beautiful, wonderful Mum died 28th March 2014 at 6.30 p.m aged 64. My Dad, me and my older sister were with her and for a while I could not get that image out of my head. She had cancer diagnosed in September 2013 and had breathing difficulties when she was sent home to die. I didn't want her to die but I didn't want to watch her suffer any longer so kept willing God to take her. I loved her or than anything or anyone in my life and I think of her all the time. My sister and dad have fallen out a couple of times as they manage their emotions in such different ways and I feel like I am in the middle. I am angry with God for taking someone so precious and selfless. I just try to take each day as it comes and go with however I am feeling. I have found out who my true friends are. I have struggled as my poor dad's grief is so overwhelming and I get fed up with everyone asking how he is and telling me to look after him but not asking how I am after losing my Mum. I just want to hug you all and let you know that I understand your pain. Maybe one day I will look at it and say "at least I had 39 years of having her in my life". Right now, I can honestly say that if I died tomorrow I would be so happy to be with her again. I love you so much Mum.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Cherrypd said on 21 April 2014

Hi, I think this is the first step to try to deal with my lovely mums sudden death. I moved to the mainland last year, however I've been back home a few times to see my mum. I flew back to surprise her a couple of days before her 79th birthday on the 5 April. But on the 6th she callasped and died. I just can't get the images of her being taken in the ambulance and the paramedics pounding on her chest out of my mind. I simply don't know what to do, I'm lost, numb and don't think I'm coping very well as I'm ok one minute then next minute I can become withdrawn and end up crying. I miss her so much, can someone help me please.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

dannii_ said on 02 April 2014

In reply to Saffron2412: I lost my mum 5 years ago when I was 15. It's been a struggle but I'm getting there. I was sitting my GCSE's at the time and didn't do very well. Then by some miracle, I've managed to go to college get 2 diploma's and now I'm in my 2nd year of university training to be a Nurse. Just take each day as it comes. Everyone is different and we all have different coping mechanisms. It just takes time. Take care.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Lozstar said on 10 February 2014

My Mum died in December 2012. It was horrendous. She died from skin cancer at age 61. She didn’t tell anyone she was ill, had not had any treatment and went from a healthy, robust woman to dead in 5 weeks. She was in hospital for only 10 days. What made it even harder to deal with was that she really didn’t want my sisters, brother or me there. And, until the day before she died we didn’t know what was wrong with her as she wouldn’t let the doctors tell us! The last thing she said to us was that she wished she could just go to sleep and never wake up, and could we go now. It was literally the worst thing I have ever been through. I had (naive as this sounds) never even considered that my Mum could die. How silly of me. But she was so there, was never ever ill, and I was looking forward to her being a grumpy old lady, driving us all mad.
To those of you with more recent bereavements I can say that the death of a loved one does get easier to deal with, but, don’t put pressure on yourself to be ‘okay’. You will feel differently from day to day. The first year is very very hard, as anniversaries come and go, birthdays, Christmas, mother’s day (that was not fun), etc. I have been having bereavement counselling for a year and without this I would be a wreck! I can really strongly recommend it. It is space to talk about what you are feeling with someone who is kind, but doesn’t feel sorry for you, or sad too, like a family member or friend would. You can also say those awful things that you have to get out there but don’t want to say to anyone else....
My little girl has also helped. She was only 18 months when my Mum died, so can’t even remember her. But she’s a reason to get up in the mornings and helps me to be happy. She will miss out on the best Nana ever, so I have to show her pictures and tell her stories and this really helps.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

KarenL76 said on 04 February 2014

My Dad died in August 2013 after a very long illness. Infact he has been ill all my entire life. My Mum died in 2009 and I seem to deal with that ok. I have 3 children and they always kept me busy, but I think it helped me that my Dad was still around.

But this time i am not coping very well. He was really ill all of last year and with not living so close it took its toll, travelling and not being with my children was hard.

I was not with him when he died and that hurt so much, so maybe I am feeling guilt over that. Since he has died I got married which was one of the hardest days of my life, he was my rock. I always thought he would be there for me.

I have been poorly with one thing or another since getting married and I am now on the mend but I cant stop thinking about him now.

I am feeling so low, it is affecting my work, my family and my relationship with my husband. I am so angry all of the time and I dont know why or who at!

I have suffered from depression in the past and I have been so strong though all of this and I feel that if I go back to the Doctors that I will be giving up.

Its really hard to explain to people and my partner how i feel. He knows I am sad but I think he is surprised that I am still suffering. I just want to be able to think and talk about my Dad and smile not cry and break down.

I do think that I need to go and see the doctor, but I dont want any pills again. I feel so alone and I wish I could see positives at the moment but it is hard. Writing this has helped me realise I need help.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Dannicov123 said on 03 February 2014

I lost my brother in a car accident 8 weeks ago, I thought I was doing well but Went away with friends at the weekend at had a rough time just kept crying and drank too much. I have good days and really bad days. I hardly know who I am, I'm so emotional sad then angry. Before my brother died we had lost my nan 3 weeks before who we were both extremely close too. I am now thinking of going to counselling as feel this may help. I am feeling a lot of guilt as well and I'm not sure why.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Saffron2412 said on 17 November 2013

I have recently lost my Mum to cancer, she was 46. I am 17 years old and I am terrified to live without my Mum. It's very easy to say "talk to someone about it" but talking about it is the hardest, a "deep chat" with a friend doesn't even seem to scratch the surface of how you are feeling. Today it has been exactly a month since she passed away, I'm hoping it will get easier soon.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

dannyjk38 said on 23 October 2013

I lost my mum to heart and renal failure in september 2013 and I miss her so much. She was only 66 and it is starting to have a negative impact on my life.

I agree on the fact that you have good days and I feel like I can cope and then other days I'm a complete mess. I'm starting to snap at my fiance and daughter over the most silly of things, I loose concentration easy and work is suffering, I have no energy to do anything apart from to play computer games as it gives me a sense of escapism.

I am aware of how my mood swings are effecting love ones and work collegues and it is starting to have an impact on my life however just putting down in words helps because with me personally, talking to family members only makes the pain worse.

I guess it's time I need to see a councellor which I wouldn't have considered before visiting this website.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

nixyjm said on 05 September 2013

I lost my mum a year ago yesterday (04/09/12 ) and I am still heartbroken, she was young only 73 and had chronic heart failure and kidney failure, she had been so poorly for 2 years since a cabg went wrong and she never really recovered, though im happy her suffering is over my life is stuck in the past. I lost my dad 12 years ago to cancer and mum nursed him at home ... its so hard to live everyday without my parents I miss them so much

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Services near you

Find addresses, phone numbers and websites for services near you

Dealing with loss

Advice on dealing with grief brought on by the loss of a loved one, job or relationship

The benefits of talking therapy

Find out about counselling and talking therapies, and how they can help

Exercise for depression

Find out the benefits of exercise for depression, including how to get exercise on prescription

Five steps to mental wellbeing

Good mental wellbeing means feeling good and functioning well. Improve your mental wellbeing