How do I look after myself when I am grieving?

Jane Cato, our Counselling and Bereavement Service Manager, offers us ways of thinking about how to look after ourselves when we are in the midst of grief.

Life turns upside down and inside out when someone we love dies. We often don’t recognise ourselves and it is common to forget to look after ourselves.

I was talking about this with one of my colleagues, Elmien, our Community Social Worker. She showed me a new book she had come across which I think is delightful. It is full of fun pictures that give important messages like the picture below.

Image (c) Matthew Johnstone

It is written and illustrated by Matthew Johnstone and titled ‘The Little Book of Resilience…how to bounce back from adversity and lead a fulfilling life’.

Resilience is a popular word these days which is all about finding a way to deal with and find ways of accepting the hard knocks that life presents us with. So often it is how we respond to the very difficult and painful life events that can make the difference in how we live now and in the future.

When someone we love dies we can be thrown into a whirlpool of grief and loss and pain and feel overwhelmed and out of control. Grief can be life changing and soul destroying and it is possible to live with and through these awful feelings and grow and learn from the loss of the ones you love so dearly. Human beings are amazing and have such capacity to adapt and grow and change.

This doesn’t mean we forget the person who died…but that we learn to find a way to live with them inside our hearts and hold them in mind.

This book has some little gems in it and can be bought as a hard copy or downloaded as an e-book and being reminded that we are important and looking after ourselves is a good thing to do goes a long way.

Useful Services and information:

Cruse Bereavement Service

Cruse offer a bereavement helpline to give support as you need it in addition to their website where you can also find resources on how to support your child.

0808 808 1677

Winston’s Wish 

Winston’s Wish has a wealth of resources and advice on how to support your child through bereavement, whilst also dealing with your own grief. They also have a free phone helpline you can call.

08088 020 021

Childhood Bereavement UK

Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.