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.
Support is also available if you're finding it hard to cope with stress, anxiety or depression
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.
Experts generally accept that we go through 4 stages of bereavement or grief:
- Accepting that your loss is real
- Experiencing the pain of grief
- Adjusting to life without the person or thing you have lost
- Putting less emotional energy into grieving and putting it into something new
Most people go through all these stages, but you will not necessarily move smoothly from one to the next.
Your grief might feel chaotic and out of control, but these feelings will eventually become less intense over time.
try the 6 ways to feel happier, which are simple lifestyle changes to help you feel more in control and able to cope.
find out about how to get to sleep if you're struggling to sleep.
consider peer support, where people use their experiences to help each other. Find out more about peer support on the Mind website.
listen to free mental wellbeing audio guides.
Helpful Links and Advice
Cruse Bereavement Care
Cruse Bereavement Care is the leading national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We offer support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies and work to enhance society’s care of bereaved people.
Telephone: 0808 808 1677
The Loss Foundation
Our charity has been providing free support groups for people who have lost their loved ones to cancer since early 2011. The aim of the support groups is to create regular spaces for people to share stories and experiences with others who have experienced a similar kind of loss.
Telephone: 0300 200 4112
The National Bereavement Service
The National Bereavement Service team comes from a variety of professional backgrounds, such as the NHS, legal, estate agency, business and funeral services and is committed to providing experienced information and advice to bereaved people.
Telephone: 0800 0246 121