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When someone close to you, and who you’ve cared for in the last stages of their life dies, you’ll probably experience a variety of emotions.
You may feel numb and shocked, however much you thought you had prepared for this moment. You may be deeply upset, and at the same time relieved that you can now make plans for your own future.
You may also feel guilty that you are thinking of yourself at this time. These are all natural and normal emotions that you may feel long after the actual bereavement itself. Coping with bereavement is a long process. If you feel you need help in coping with your feelings at this time, there are organisations that offer bereavement counselling. Ask your GP surgery or local hospice.
Everyone copes with bereavement in their own way. When you’re able to return to work will vary for each person. Some people feel able to carry on working and need to take very little time off; others need longer.
Let your employer know how you’re coping and discuss with them the best way for you to return to work. You may find it easier to work from home for a time, or to return part-time for a while. It can also be helpful to talk to your employer about telling your colleagues, and about whether you’re happy for them to contact you.
There are many organisations that can support you| at this time.
Our Bereavement| section offers you help on how to cope with grief, practical information you need and, when you're ready, offers ways to celebrate the life of your loved one.
Content last reviewed: 1 May 2011
Next planned review: 2013
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