Experiencing the loss of someone important to us is a challenge that we all face at some time in our lives, whether through the death of a loved one, or through the ending of an important relationship. But knowing that others have experienced something similar doesn't necessarily make the pain any easier to manage.
You may find that friends and others are uncomfortable and don't know how best to support you, and you (or others) may impose unrealistic expectations about how quickly you should be 'moving on'. There is no set timetable for how bereavement or loss affects someone, and no set formula for how to get through it, but it is a good idea to make sure you have some kind of support.
It is always advisable to let your personal tutor or course leader know if you are having difficulties affecting your studies – they are there to help, and can offer useful advice and support. Consult your GP if you are feeling persistently low, or if your difficulties are significantly affecting your daily functioning beyond the initial aftermath of the loss.
The University library has copies of the following books which could be useful:
- Morris, S - Overcoming Grief - 155.937/MOR
- Tatelbaum, J - The Courage to Grieve - 155.937/TAT
- Wertheimer, A - A Special Scar. The Experiences of People Bereaved by Suicide - 362.89/WER
If you would like to research more around the topic of loss and bereavement, the Student Wellbeing Service can recommend the following self-help resources:
NHS self-help guides
A range of self-help booklets (available also as MP3 downloads), with one on Bereavement in particular.
This Royal College of Psychiatrists leaflet gives information about how people normally grieve after a loss, unresolved grief, places to get help, other sources of information and ways in which friends and relatives can help.
The Compassionate Friends
A national bereavement charity that supports bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents after the death of a child/ children within the family – of any age and through any cause. Includes a telephone helpline, forum, information leaflets, information on local support and specialist sibling support.
The Bereavement Centre
Local support for bereaved people, including free 1-to-1 counselling, support, friendship and social groups, and life coaching.
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide
This self-help organisation supports those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend. There's a confidential helpline, information leaflets, support by e-mail, group meetings (including a Portsmouth branch), and events.
CRUSE Bereavement Care
Large charity that promotes the wellbeing of bereaved people, helping people to understand their grief and cope with their loss. As well as providing free care to all bereaved people, it also offers information, support and training to those who are looking after them. Includes a wealth of online information.
Marie Curie Bereavement Information and Support
An organisation that offers help to bereaved students.