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Thank you, SW Barratt

Anxious Woman

Terminal Illness & Bereavement Support Groups

Published: February 8, 2024

Death affects everyone at some point in their lives. It certainly isn’t easy, but there’s no need for despair! We often don’t feel ready and seek where else to go for help/support. Unfortunately, people die early and often without any warning.

When someone close to you dies unexpectedly, they leave behind an empty space that can feel hard to understand, and their absence leaves a hole in our lives. Help from online bereavement support groups will assist you during your recovery period.

Bereavement definition?

Bereavement refers to the grief emotions experienced by people who lose someone they care for deeply. When someone dies, an overwhelming feeling of loss usually follows right away, which may be called grief. It lasts for several weeks and is categorised into acute bereavement (when the person died suddenly) or chronic bereavement (if they had been ill).

It’s important not to rush through grieving because if you don’t allow yourself time to grieve properly, you may never fully recover from losing someone close to you. It seems at first that losing someone close to you would be difficult because of the intensity of feeling involved; however, if you allow yourself to feel these strong emotions for some time, they can become easier to deal with over time.

Remembering that grief stands as a natural way for people to respond to loss helps us deal with our own feelings when we experience them. Many people live long enough to lose someone they care for deeply in their life. However, for each person, there comes the point when they experience profound grief at the loss of their beloved. Every person copes differently with these feelings.

A person’s manner of death may affect the types of feelings people experience when they think about them later. For instance, if someone was fighting an incurable disease, their death would be considered inevitable; therefore, you’d probably have time to prepare yourself emotionally before saying goodbye. It takes time for people who suddenly lose someone they care deeply about to accept their loss. There are usually more complicated emotions involved when someone dies unexpectedly than if the individual died after an illness, and it is for these reasons that bereavement support group can help.

Grief stages

There are five main phases of grieving; however, other research suggests there could be up to 7 different types of grief.

They’re not sequentially ordered. Grief occurs in different orders for different people, and they may experience multiple stages at once.

These are the five main stages of grieving:

  • Denial: This is an often-used initial reaction to dealing with the emotional/moving pain associated with losing someone close – to avoid having to accept the death before you’re emotionally prepared for it.
  • Anger: Anger helps us protect ourselves from feeling too vulnerable by becoming an outlet for our feelings of hurt & pain.
  • Bargaining: This stage involves helpless desperation to relieve the pain in any way possible, often by praying, hoping or imagining theoretical scenarios.
  • Depression: When someone finally starts facing up to their loss, it can feel overwhelming to realise there is no escape from it, and they often withdraw from others.
  • Acceptance: This stage is when the person has stopped trying to change what happened, with more understanding around it, though sadness can remain. They accept the loss and allow it to stay in their lives.

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Bereavement support groups in the UK 

Holding hands

One of the most common misconceptions about grief is that people think they can get over their loved ones by simply moving forward with their lives again. It may not be entirely accurate, but with some guidance from a therapist, you can master coping with grief by compartmentalising your feelings so that you’re no longer overwhelmed by them.

Bereavement therapy/counselling from UK bereavement support groups can help you get through this difficult time by teaching you ways to deal with grief and sadness. Evidence-based talk therapies can teach you skills for coping with these emotions. Several factors determine whether someone receives grief therapy/counselling after losing a loved one. These include the nature of their relationship with the deceased, the circumstances surrounding their death, and the deceased age when they died.

Your grief may be different from others, but there are ways to help you cope. Therapists provide tailored treatments for your needs. There are various types of therapies available, including:

Cognitive behavioural therapy

This type of therapy focuses on helping people deal with grief by focusing on their actions rather than just thinking about them. It involves exploring new ways to connect with someone who has died, either by remembering pleasant times together or sharing stories about them with friends and family members.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness allows us to tune into our bodies to recognise when something isn’t right and take action before things get out of hand. Apart from a bereavement support group, meditation & mindfulness might help deal with grief after losing someone close to you.

Group therapy in bereavement support groups

Grief is an emotional experience we often struggle to understand because it’s so different from anything else we know. It feels isolating, even if people try to help by explaining the situation. Group therapy allows you to gain important insights into yourself by sharing stories and coping mechanisms regarding losses with others who’ve experienced them first-hand. When observing different stages of bereavement others are experiencing in this setting, the step can help you realise you won’t always feel the same level of negative emotions, particularly during the early stages of grief. Bereavement & illness advice can often be useful, even if you think you do not need the help of a bereavement support group.

Terminal illness definition

Terminal illnesses are diseases or conditions which cannot be treated and usually leads to someone’s demise. Sometimes referred to as “a life-limiting disease.”

Terminal illnesses

There isn’t any specific list of diseases considered “terminal.” A person with one terminal illness might be suffering from just one condition or have multiple diseases. Some examples of diseases that may lead to death include:

  • Advanced cancer
  • Lung disease
  • Dementia
  • Neurological diseases
  • Motor Neurone disease
  • Advanced heart disease.

A person who has a terminal infection/illness might live for several days, weeks, months, or even longer than they would if their condition were not so serious. Doctors often struggle to accurately estimate when people might die. It depends on their diagnosis and any treatment they’re currently undergoing.

Each experience of a terminal infection is unique. The affected individual may slowly become sicker as their disease worsens as time goes by. Some patients might experience periods where they feel okay and others when they are worse.

Terminal illness help & treatment

Woman with hand on head

A person diagnosed with a terminal disease may be given treatments to manage their symptoms and keep them alive for as long as possible. This treatment takes the name ‘palliative care.’ Palliative care aims to support people suffering from an incurable disease, but not necessarily to treat their condition. Palliative care may be provided alongside traditional medical treatment, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, etc, if necessary.

It doesn’t necessarily mean terminally ill people cannot lead normal lives. Palliative care focuses on helping patients live active/well by managing their pain and other symptoms.

Those who live with someone suffering from a terminal illness may need various kinds of practical assistance or emotional support/help at various times during their illness. Palliative care involves providing emotional, physical, psycho social, and spiritual help/support for people suffering from serious illnesses. It includes helping patients’ families cope with illness. A palliative care team can consist of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, chaplains, and volunteers.

Bereavement causes

Bereaved people often feel grief because they care deeply for their loved ones who died. However, how the person dies and its impact on them ultimately determines whether they grieve or not. Again, a bereavement support group can often help an individual.

Grief/Bereavement may be caused by several factors, including:

Loss of a Parent: The death of one’s parents is often an unpleasant experience we must face at some point in life. If you maintain a strong relationship with your parents, they may become an especially significant loss when they die. You might feel lonely after losing them, but having supportive friends and relatives who understand what you’re going through could help ease some of the pain.

Loss of a Child: Losing a child through miscarriage, childbirth, or infant death may be among the most difficult times for parents. When a young person dies unexpectedly, they leave behind parents who feel grief for the loss of their child. Grief makes people think differently; it affects everything from relationships to finances.

Losing a partner/spouse: As we pass most of our adult life together, losing someone close makes us feel like we’ve lost a piece of ourselves and our last companion. Friends & family members can be an important source of emotional support when dealing with this loss. They may even be able to provide practical assistance if needed.

Losing a sibling: Whether you’re a kid, teenager or adult, losing one of your siblings can be extremely hard for anyone. You’ve been growing up together since childhood; therefore, you might feel sad when they die. It’s important to include children who lose siblings when they grieve because it helps them deal with the loss emotionally.

Suicide death: Losing a loved one to suicide is among the most challenging and complicated types of grief you could ever experience. Grief is often accompanied by sadness, guilt, fear, loneliness, anger, resentment, and sometimes even rage. These feelings may come from both ourselves (for example, we feel guilty because we think we didn’t do enough) and outside us (blame our spouse/partner for dying).

Bereavement support groups near me

Hands reaching out

For many it is helpful to have additional help alongside the help they receive from specialists and general practitioner (GP). Ask your GP for advice if you’re worried about your mental well-being. If you need help finding an organisation offering similar services, check out these established resources, which includes a bereavement support group.

Cruse

Cruse Bereavement Support is one of the largest charities dedicated solely to helping grieving families across Britain.

They help bereaved parents by providing details and advice about grieving after losing a loved one. They offer specialist/professional support services for kids and young adults who’ve lost a parent. If you need help, they offer both phone support and online chat services. Besides this, this organisation offers bereavement support groups & support sessions for those who have lost their loved ones and are in the process of grieving.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie is an independent charity dedicated to providing care and support for terminally ill patients and their families or support to families that have lost their loved ones and are on with the grieving process.

They offer details and support/help for everything related to dying, death and bereavements. If you need help, they offer both phone support and online chats. Also, you may be able to get some assistance by calling a bereavement volunteer.

Mesothelioma Hope

Mesotheliomas Hope is an American non-profit organisation providing comprehensive support for mesothelioma patients and their families.

Mesothelioma grief counselling helps people who’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma cope with their feelings and adjust to normal life. Grieving families and close colleagues can often maximise the counselling sessions since they can get tips on coping with their loss.

Mesothelioma grief counsellors provide emotional support for people who suffer from mesothelioma by helping them cope with their emotions during treatment. Grief counselling for mesothelioma patients is available 24/7 from certified therapists at any time of day or night.

Down to Earth

Down to Earth aside from the Quakers provides a top-notch, free, helpful, & supportive organisation for anyone who finds it hard to afford a funeral. They offer services throughout the United Kingdom (UK).

Samaritans

24/7 sign

Samaritans offer 24/7 non-judgemental hearing & peer support/help. They offer several programs/sessions for people who’ve lost loved ones.

Conclusion 

We may feel grief when we lose someone who means something special to us; however, our feelings for them tend to be stronger than others because they mean so much to us. Bereavement support groups can help an individual at a low point in their life.

If you feel overwhelmed by grief after losing someone close, bereavement counselling may be helpful. It could help you cope better with daily life.

If you found this article interesting, and would like to learn more about how to save money on a funeral, locating quality low-cost funerals, low-cost headstones, natural burials, DIY funerals, free financial help from the Government and charities as well as bereavement support, then please visit Save Funeral Costs™

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