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    Coping with bereavement

    Coming to terms with losing a loved one takes a long time. When you have suffered a recent bereavement and loss of a family member, a dear friend, or anyone close to you, then the feeling of loss can be extremely over whelming. The Searson Family Funeral Service understand how you feel, and unlike some funeral directors, their lives have been touched too by tragedy. You always know when you meet someone else who has suffered a loss, because they have real compassion and understanding of how you may be feeling.

    Bereavement affects people in different ways. There is no right or wrong way to feel, and everyone will feel their own pain in a unique way. It may be that you are overcome with emotions. One day you may feel okay, the next you might be in floods of tears. These powerful feelings of loss and anguish will come and go, just like waves of the sea. One minute you may feel that you are coping very well, the next you may not feel like you are coping at all.

    Different stages of loss

    Doctors and different experts generally accept that there are four stages of bereavement. These are (broadly speaking):

    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, sometimes also referred to as "moving on"

    You will probably experience all these stages, but there is no hard and fast rule, as to when, and how you move from one to another. There will be many times when your grief and sense of loss may feel very chaotic, and you might feel that you have no control. Over time, these feelings will eventually become less intense, and not so awful to deal with. As time goes by you may also feel:

    shock and numbness (this is usually the first reaction to the death). You may find yourself undertaking day to day tasks but not really thinking about what you are really doing. It may seem like you are in a daze

    an overwhelming sadness. Crying is a natural thing, and often you will cry and there will be times when you have no control over crying

    tiredness or exhaustion

    anger. Sometimes you may feel anger towards the person who has died, or you may be angry at others who are still alive. You may get cross about things that you have no control over

    guilt. You may feel guilty because you are angry, or about something you did not say, or did say. You may also feel guilty that in some way you should have been able to stop your loved one dying

    Coping with grief and loss

    The first steps towards dealing with loss is being able to talk and share your feelings with someone who can help. Don't feel that you are alone. There are many people who can help you, so reach out to them, and express your sense of loss and anguish. Family and friends will usually be the first choices, but if not, then do talk to your local GP and above all, just remember, you are not alone! 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.

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