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Bereavement

For many, experiences of loss and grief have been at the forefront of their encounter with the COVID-19 pandemic. Losing someone close at any time can be incredibly distressing; however, the circumstances surrounding the pandemic may have made this experience even more difficult. Everyone experiences loss and grief in very different ways; there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to grieve. It is common to experience a wide range of feelings when someone dies. You may also experience various physical sensations or notice yourself behaving differently to how you normally would.

Below are some common feelings, behaviours and physical sensations experienced when grieving:

Feelings:

  • Sadness
  • Shock
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Confusion
  • Anger
  • Regret
  • Shame
  • Guild
  • Irritability

Behaviours:

  • Concerns that you are ‘going mad’ due to unusual experiences – hearing, seeing or feeling the person who has died
  • Crying frequently
  • Feeling unable to cry
  • Repeatedly thinking about the events surrounding the death
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Finding socialising difficult
  • Not wanting to do hobbies or interests

Physical Sensations:

  • Changes to appetite
  • Digestive upset
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Being forgetful
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Feeling restless
  • A general feeling of mental and physical exhaustion
  • Feeling panicky – dizzy breathless
  • Increased vulnerability to illness

Useful resources

Cruse Bereavement Care

Has lots of helpful and supportive resources for individuals who are struggling with loss and grief – https://www.cruse.org.uk/

Supporting each other following the death of a colleague

Supporting each other following the death of a colleague.pdf (bps.org.uk)

Relaxation and mindfulness apps

Sleep resources

 

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