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Unfortunately, bereavement is something many of us will experience. It is painful and heart-breaking, but understanding how you feel and letting yourself feel these things is key to helping you get through this difficult time. Every one of us is different and the way we cope with grief will greatly differ, even although we tend to share the same range of emotions and reactions.

The important thing to remember is that the feeling won't last forever. Over time, you will come to understand these feelings and know what you need to do to manage them.

There are four common emotional effects of bereavement:

  • Grief
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Fear

Grief can affect you mentally, emotionally and physically and it can also affect your relationships with others. Remember that grief is a process that everyone goes through. It can make you feel a number of different emotions.

Depression and emptiness feelings tend to strike when you come to terms with the death. Although this can be the toughest time, it is also when a lot of healing takes place. After this, people tend to feel better and are able to plan ahead. Sadness is a common response to bereavement, but if this persists, it can progress into depression.

You may feel angry at the thought of your loss, or the lack of understanding from other people. You could even be angry at yourself because you didn’t have time to say the things you really felt, or you may feel angry at the person because they have left you alone.

Your world has been turned upside down, so fear and anxiety are perfectly natural feelings to experience. You may feel like you don’t have any control over your life anymore. But as time goes on you will get used to coping, which in turn will make you feel more confident.

There are many organisations that can offer support and advice to you and your loved one.

Marie Curie offers advice on practical, legal and financial matters, how to organise a funeral, coping with grief and how to support a child when someone dies along with providing practical information and emotional support for caring or living with someone with a terminal illness.

Whether you're living with a terminal illness or caring for someone, they are there to help with practical information and emotional support.

We all hear the term "end of life care", but what is involved?

The NHS highlights that “End of life care is support for people who are in the last months or years of their life”. The people providing the end of life care will also provide support to the family, carers or other people that are important to the person nearing the end of their life.

The NHS webpages offer further advice on who provides the end of life care, what is palliative care and who provides it, when does end of life care begin, where can you find out about end of life care services within your area and planning ahead e.g. Power of Attorney.

There are a number of local services available to you that can offer guidance and support.

Strathcarron Hospice offers bereavement support to adults whose loved ones have been cared for in the hospice.

Based on Victoria Road, Falkirk, FDAMH, Falkirk’s Mental Health Association, offers a counselling service not only for adults but also for young persons. The Young Persons’ Counselling Service provides counselling for those aged between 14 to 18 years living in the Forth Valley Area.

You can phone Breathing Space free on 0800 83 85 87 and talk with an experienced adviser who will listen and offer your information and advice.