Bereavement, Grief and Loss

Bereavement, grief and loss can cause many different symptoms and they affect people in different ways. There’s no right or wrong way to feel.

As well as bereavement, there are other types of loss such as the end of a relationship or losing a job or home.

On this page you’ll find some general guidance to help understand bereavement, grief and loss and links to resources and further support.

General guidance to help with bereavement, grief and loss

About bereavement, grief and loss

Most people experience grief when they lose something or someone important to them. If these feelings are affecting your life, there are things you can try that may help.

Symptoms of bereavement, grief and loss

Bereavement, grief and loss can cause many different symptoms and they affect people in different ways. There’s no right or wrong way to feel.As well as bereavement, there are other types of loss such as the end of a relationship or losing a job or home.Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • shock and numbness – this is usually the first reaction to loss, and people often talk about “being in a daze”
  • overwhelming sadness, with lots of crying
  • tiredness or exhaustion
  • anger – towards the person you’ve lost or the reason for your loss
  • guilt – for example, guilt about feeling angry, about something you said or did not say, or not being able to stop your loved one dying

These feelings may not be there all the time and powerful feelings may appear unexpectedly.

It’s not always easy to recognise when bereavement, grief or loss are the reason you’re acting or feeling differently.

Support is also available if you’re finding it hard to cope with stress, anxiety or depression. See talk to someone

The videos below are made by Marie Curie, they feature people talking about what grief feels like and what they have found helps them. If you’ve been bereaved, you might find that there are some things you can relate to. But you might find that your experience is different – and that’s OK too.

Further links and resources for bereavement, grief and loss

Staff Grief and Loss Support Service

Freephone 0808 1963833 or open chat window or phone 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week) The service is a free and anonymous telephone helpline and online chat facility. Specialist advisors will offer practical advice and emotional support, and where appropriate, can signpost people to local place-based services for specific counselling or other support –

Our Frontline.  Offers free and confidential 24/7 mental health and bereavement support to all key workers, and bereavement and trauma support to health, social care and emergency services staff. Call 0300 303 4434 free and in confidence, 8am to 8pm seven days a week.

AtaLoss  A comprehensive hub of support services, information, helplines and helpful reads for anyone who has been bereaved.

BAMEStream Bereavement Support Service.  Support for adults from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic (BAME) communities who’ve been bereaved due to covid-19. Provided by the Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre, which offers therapeutic support in over 20 different languages.

Compassionate Friends.   A charitable organisation of bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents dedicated to the support and care of other bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents who have suffered the death of a child or children.Helpline: 0345 123 2304

Cruse Bereavement Care.  Provides bereavement support, either face-to-face or over the phone, from trained volunteers around the UK. Calls to this helpline are free. Helpline: 0808 808 1677

The Good Grief Trust.  A national network of support run by the bereaved, for the bereaved. The Good Grief Trust brings together over 800 UK support services for those grieving and the professionals working with them, offering early signposting to a choice of tailored help.

WAY (Widowed & Young) Foundation.  WAY is the only national charity in the UK for men and women aged 50 or under when their partner died. It’s a peer-to-peer support group run by a network of volunteers who have been bereaved at a young age. It runs activities and support groups for people coping with grief.