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It can be very difficult if the person you care for dies.  As well as having to cope with your grief you may feel a bit lost now that you are no longer busy helping them.

Everyone reacts differently to grief. There are many ways you can help yourself but if you need support then there is specialist help available, including specialist support for children.

A good place to start is to look at the coping with bereavement on NHS Choices.

Don’t isolate yourself 

Make sure you talk to people and don’t cut yourself off.  Your friends and family probably want to support you but may not know how to do this.

Try to accept help when it is offered.  Even if this is just enjoying a meal that someone else has made for you. 

If you are already part of a local carer group carry on going and talk to them about how you are feeling if you can. There may also be a local groups for former carers that you may find supportive.

Many local carer services will continue to help you after you stop caring, particularly whilst you are adjusting. 

You may also be able to find support online. Our online communities offer 24-hour support, every day of the year, from our online services for carers. Carers Trust online services are open to all carers, wherever you live in the UK and whatever your age.  Babble is for young carers under 18, Matter is for young adult carers aged 16 to 25, and Carers Space is for adult carers.

If you feel you aren’t coping with your grief, or that it is affecting your health, make sure you talk to your GP.  They will be able to offer you advice and support.

Children

Child Bereavement UK supports families when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.

Cruse also supports children and young people

If you are worried that a child is not coping with grief talk to their GP about getting them suitable support.

Where to find support

  • Bereavement Advice Centre has a free helpline and web-based in formation about what to do when someone dies. This includes information about coping with grief.
  • Cruse (Cruse Bereavement Care) supports you after the death of someone close. If you need to talk to them you can call 0808 808 1677 or email: helpline@cruse.org.uk.  They also offer face to face and group support in local branches across the UK. 
  • Dying Matters helps people in England and Wales to talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life
  • Widowed and young (WAY) supports men and women aged 50 or under when their partner died.
  • Macmillan have a wide range of advice for carers about bereavement.  This includes information about how grief might affect you, picking up your life again, and celebrating the life of your loved one.

In Scotland

Cruse also offers support in Scotland.  There is a Cruse Scotland website and a separate helpline number: 0845 600 2227.

Practical advice