The loss of someone close to us can turn our world upside down, leaving an empty space in our lives. We can be left feeling numb and believing that our lives have lost their direction and purpose. It is natural to experience strong feelings as we struggle to make sense and accept the reality of our loss.

Who can use the service and what do we offer?

We offer support to anyone whose relative or close friend was cared for by Pilgrims Hospices before they died. We also take referrals from other hospices to provide bereavement support to family members living in our area.

Within a couple of months of a patient’s death, we will write to the main carers and send details of our bereavement services. Please help us by sharing with other family members.

Bereavement meeting

Our bereavement meeting offers you a chance to meet with other people in a similar situation and to talk together in a group setting. This provides an opportunity to share your experiences and talk about difficulties you have had and how you have been coping. Anyone over the age of 18 years is welcome. Our experience has shown that these meetings are not suitable for children or young people.

Bereavement group

You can also join a bereavement group which runs for six consecutive sessions. Each session the group will focus on different topics. We find that group members sometimes get to know each other well and some continue to meet informally to support each other after the five sessions have ended. These are generally run on an afternoon.

Bereavement drop-in

The Bereavement Drop-in provides space for an informal social gathering, where bereaved family members and carers are invited to the hospice to have a cup of tea with other people in a similar situation. Invitations are sent out to bereaved carers, family and friends six months post their loss and can attend for up to 12 sessions. People often value the opportunity to meet others in a similar situation as well as the chance to enquire about further support available.

These are held once a month during the afternoon.

One-to-one bereavement support

One-to-one bereavement support is an opportunity to talk to a trained counsellor about the consequences of your loss, in a safe and confidential environment. They will be able to listen to your experience of grief and enable you to find ways of coping with loss and face the challenging effects of grief.

An initial appointment can be made to see a counsellor to assess if counselling is right for you. We then offer up to six sessions of counselling and will review with you during this period to see if counselling is still meeting your needs.

Bereavement support for children

Children grieve too. They have thoughts and feelings which they may find difficult to express. It isn’t possible to protect children from feeling sad, angry and hurt but by talking to them and including them in what is going on, they can be helped to understand what has happened. Our experience has shown that usually parents and carers are best placed to help their children and we can help you to support them in their bereavement.

Other organisations offering bereavement support for children are: