Living with grief

The emotional challenges of a life-changing loss

It can take a long time to comprehend a loss and process our thoughts when someone dies. Shock numbness, guilt, anger and bargaining – wishing you could change things – can all be a part of complex grief emotions that can be difficult to cope with.

There is no time limit to grieving the loss of someone you loved, or how you may feel if a death has triggered an emotional response to difficult experiences connected with the person who has died.

Grief can be life-changing and not something people simply get over. Through the healing process, people can grow around their loss, and this becomes a part of who they are.

What are the mental health symptoms of grief?

Grief can trigger a back-and-forth wave of emotions following the days, weeks months and years after someone’s death. Some people experience delayed or complex grief, when a death triggers distressing memories or unresolved issues to surface.

You may find you need help and support a long time after a bereavement, or to identify how a loss from earlier in your life has affected your emotional wellbeing.

If grief affects your ability to carry on and cope with everyday life, work or family, seek advice from your GP, who may prescribe medication or talking therapy to help you through the depression or anxiety that a bereavement can trigger.

Help and support through grief

Sometimes it can be difficult to talk to other people who were close to the person who has died, when they are coping through their own emotional journey. Sometimes it can feel as though too much time has passed, to talk about your feelings.

If you’re struggling after a bereavement or feel alone in your grief, you can turn to us, however long ago the person died.

You don’t need a diagnosis, referral or appointment to access mental wellbeing support, listening and friendship at Make a Difference.