When someone close to you has died, there is a natural period of sadness and loss. You are likely to experience a range of emotions from shock, relief, guilt to grief, possibly for a long time afterwards. These are all normal reactions.
You will need time to get used to the loss of your relative or friend and adjust to a new routine. Don’t make any quick decisions about changes to your life, such as moving house, as you may regret them later on. Wait until your grief is less strong.
Getting support when you’re grieving
There are a number of organisations that offer information and emotional support following the death of a loved one:
The Citizens Information Board also has helpful information on its website that is short and easy to read.
They also have a useful booklet Bereavement: Information for those Affected by Bereavement. This will take you through many of the practical issues following a bereavement, such as organising the funeral, registering the death, legal issues and sorting out finances – and it also has a section on counselling and support. Call 0761 07 4000 for a copy of the booklet.
Contacting Citizen’s Information
Phone: 0761 07 4000
Find your local office here: http://centres.citizensinformation.ie
Irish Hospice Foundation
As well as providing palliative (end-of-life) nursing care to terminally ill patients, the Hospice Foundation provides information on bereavement and coping with loss on its dedicated website www.bereaved.ie
The three sections below are sourced from the website. They are very helpful and cross-link to audio-visual and written resources on grief and bereavement:
You can download leaflets or order them from www.hospicefoundation.ie. The Irish Hospice Foundation also runs workshops from January to June each year for bereaved members of the public and professionals working in this area.
If your loved one has died in a hospice, ask the staff about bereavement services that may be available to family members.
Contacting the Irish Hospice Foundation
Phone: 01 679 3188
National Association of Widows in Ireland
The NAWI has 30 branches throughout the country. Their activities range from outings, social gatherings, holidays, seminars and counselling to educational talks and demonstrations.
Contacting the NAWI
Phone: 01 873 3622 / 01 872 8814
Bethany Bereavement Support
This is a community and parish-based service, with branches throughout the country.
Visit the website to find your local branch or call 087 990 5299.
If you are finding it difficult to cope with your feelings after a bereavement, speaking to a professional such as a psychotherapist or other mental health professional may help.
Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP)
The IACP provides a list of registered counsellors in Ireland according to county, qualification and areas of interest.
Phone: 01 272 3427
Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy
Humanistic and integrative psychotherapy believes that individuals are fundamentally responsible for themselves and seeks to help people who are in crisis and/or are searching for meaning and purpose in life.
Phone: 01 284 1665
Many people find it difficult to motivate themselves after the death of a loved one or they may notice how they think or act changes. Psychologists can help address these feelings.
Psychological Society of Ireland provides list of psychologists in Ireland
Phone: 01 472 0105
Bereavement support for children and teenagers
- The Irish Childhood Bereavement Network supports people working with grieving children and young people. It provides a range of information and advice on how to deal with grief in children and adolescents.
- The Palliative Hub is a project of the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care. The hub was created to act as a gateway to information about children and young people’s palliative care on the island of Ireland.
The hub includes a very useful section on bereavement. It also has a list of useful organisations.
- Rainbows is a peer support programme to help children, youths and adults who are grieving. It is usually run through schools.
Phone: 01 473 4175
- Barnardos Children’s Bereavement Service works with families to help them support their child through the grieving process. Specialist bereavement project workers based in Cork and Dublin offer therapeutic intervention to children and families, and the Bereavement Helpline Service offers information and advice in relation to how to support children impacted by bereavement.
Helpline Service: 01 473 2110 (Monday-Thursday, 10.00am-12.00pm)
Phone (Dublin): 01 813 4100
Phone (Cork): 021 435 7679
- The Family Support Agency was set up to support a variety of services to assist families around the country experiencing marriage or relationship difficulties and for children experiencing bereavement or parental separation.
Phone: 01 611 4100
- Cruse Bereavement Care is an interactive UK website for young people, with online books and chat forums.
- Winston’s Wish is a UK organisation that helps children to rebuild their lives after the death of a parent or sibling. It also has a wide range of books for children.
There is a wide range of literature available, both for adults and for children, who have experienced a bereavement. Call our Support Line on Freephone 1800 200 700 or drop into your local Daffodil Centre to find out about useful publications.
A helpful booklet from the HSE – When someone close dies can be ordered here.
The Irish Hospice Foundation provides a large range of leaflets and booklets on bereavement, including When a loved one dies.
If you have concerns or find it hard to cope, contact your GP or your specialist palliative care service. Or call our Support Line on 1800 200 700 to find out more about bereavement support.
For more information
1800 200 700