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When someone close to us dies we have to cope and adjust to living in a world which is irreversibly changed. We may have to let go of some dreams built up and shared with the person who has died.

The length of time it will take a person to accept the death of someone close and move forward is varied and will be unique to the mourner. How we react will be influenced by many different things, including:

  • age
  • personality
  • cultural background
  • religious beliefs
  • previous experiences of bereavement
  • personal circumstances.

No one can tell you how or when the intensity of your grief will lessen; only you will know when this happens. It is not unusual for bereaved people to think they are finally moving towards acceptance only to experience the strong and often unwelcome emotions they experienced shortly after the death.

Life will never be the same again after a bereavement, but the grief and pain should lessen. There should come a time when you are able to adapt and adjust and cope with life without the person who has died. The pain of bereavement has been compared to that of losing a limb. We may adapt to life without the limb but we continue to feel its absence. When a person we are close to dies we can find meaning in life again, but without forgetting their meaning for us

Many people worry that they will forget the person who has died; how they looked, their voice, or the good times they had together. There are, however, many ways you can keep their memory alive.

 

Further help

Our booklet Restoring Hope gives more detail on how you may feel following a bereavement. Other publications are available from our online shop.

Cruse offers free confidential support for adults and children, via telephone, email or face-to-face.

Helpline: 0808 808 1677

Children and young people: Hope Again