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There’s no right or wrong way to feel after losing someone close to you, and everyone has their own way of handling a bereavement. Here we look at some of the emotions you might be feeling, and suggest a few ways of coping during a difficult time.

It’s different for everyone, but most people find they move through four stages of bereavement, these are:

  • Accepting the loss has happened
  • Experiencing grief
  • Adjusting to life without that person
  • Moving on

You might experience some of these stages more strongly and for longer periods of time than others, but after a while your feelings will become less intense and you will feel you are able to invest your emotional energy in something other than grieving.

Common symptoms of grief

Will experiencing grief you might feel many things. Most people’s immediate reaction to death is that of shock or numbness – the sensation of walking through life in a daze. Sadness, tiredness or exhaustion are common – and this can make you feel very emotional. You could also be feeling distracted, and find that you are struggling to concentrate and remember simple things. Negative feelings like anger or guilt can also occur, and that’s perfectly normal too.

Strategies for coping

Don’t rush

Moving through the stages of bereavement takes time. It might feel easier or more convenient for things to return to normal, but don’t try to speed up the process. Instead, you should give yourself and those around you the time they need to mourn.

Don’t shut down

It might be the last thing on your mind, but you need to remember to eat and sleep. Looking after yourself will put you in a better position to deal with your feelings. Stay active and resist the urge to withdraw from life for a while. Instead of isolating yourself, spend time with people who care about you.

Do talk

It’s important to acknowledge the person who has died. So, don’t worry about upsetting people and instead share your fond memories.

Do socialise

It can be comforting to spend time with those experiencing similar feelings, but it’s important to stay connected to other people and your day-to-life. Your usual hobbies and activities can be a great source of comfort, so continue to do the things you enjoy.

Seeking bereavement support

If you feel you need to seek help, or friends and family members have expressed concern about your emotional state, you can talk to your GP or a bereavement counsellor who will be used to helping people experiencing grief.

How funeral ceremonies can help

The first few days and weeks after losing someone close to you can be the hardest. And many cultures choose to mark the death of a friend or family member with a funeral ceremony. It’s an opportunity to pay tribute and start to accept the reality of the loss. It’s also a chance to celebrate the deceased’s life and spend some with others who are grieving.

Planning a service can feel like a daunting task at this difficult time, but by helping you find and compare funeral directors that are located near you we can make the process a little simpler.

Funeral Choice helps bereaved families find, compare and contact the right funeral director. Click here and enter your postcode to start your search.