Life Matters column: Help is out there if you're struggling with bereavement

For those facing bereavement and loss, it can be a difficult and uncertain time, and every individual experiences it differently.

By Julie Frost
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 4:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 4:49 pm
You're not alone: bereavement support co-ordinator Maxine Shell.
You're not alone: bereavement support co-ordinator Maxine Shell.

Some choose to manage with support from family and friends, others may decide to talk to someone outside of that circle.

The loneliness and isolation from a bereavement is a cruel thing, both of which I experienced when my partner died some years ago.

Immediately after my loss, friends and family rallied round, but months later I struggled to continue reaching out to them because I felt like I was a burden and that my conversations were on a loop – somehow I had lost myself in my grief.

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That’s when I accessed HospiceCare’s bereavement support – it wasn’t a ‘quick fix’ but gradually, with their support, I started to feel better and the fog hanging over me cleared.

Many months on, I still can’t emphasise enough how their support helped me navigate through my grief. A recent bereavement client sums it up beautifully by saying: “The HospiceCare support was exemplary at a time I felt I could not cope on my own – they were there with compassion, understanding and expertise. I feel very lucky that HospiceCare were an option for me, they were outstanding in every respect and helped put my life back on track."

Our bereavement support service is available to adults living in north Northumberland and can be accessed via self-referral or via a healthcare professional. It’s free of charge and there is no need to have had any prior contact with the hospice.

On contacting HospiceCare, we will offer an initial assessment to explore how we can help you. For some, a one-off assessment session may be enough, for others, it may be helpful to meet again.

Alternatively – or as a next step – we may invite you to attend a bereavement support group which is held once a month in our Wellbeing centres at Alnwick and Berwick. This offers people a place to meet and connect with others who have had similar experiences.

For more information or to self-refer, call our nursing team on 01665 606515 or 01289309997 or email [email protected] or visit us at www.hospicecare-nn.org.uk.