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Care for the Dying: A Pathway to Excellence$

John Ellershaw and Susie Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198509332

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198509332.001.0001

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(p.201) Appendix 6 Bereavement leaflet (p.202)

(p.201) Appendix 6 Bereavement leaflet (p.202)

Care for the Dying: A Pathway to Excellence
Oxford University Press

(p.203) Appendix 6 Bereavement leaflet

Judith Williamson

Principal Social Worker

Marie Curie Centre Liverpool Appendix 6 Bereavement leaflet


    (formerly CRUSE)

    25, Hope Street


    Tel: 0151–7086706


    2, Sir Thomas Street


    Tel: 0151–2364440


    Tel: 0151–7089080


    Tel: 0151–7088888

  5. 5) BACUP

    Freeline 0808 800 1234

    Will give you details of bereavement support in your area.


  6. 6) COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS (Death of child regardless of age)

    Helpline 0117 953 9639



    Helpline 020 8455 8894


The Marie Curie Centre Liverpool is one of ten Marie Curie Centres, providing specialist in-patient and outpatient care and day therapy. The Charity also runs research and education centres and a nursing service, enabling people to be cared for at home when this is their choice.

In the Centre, care is provided by highly skilled multi-professional health teams - doctors, nurses, social work and welfare rights team, occupational and physiotherapists, spiritual/pastoral carers and complementary therapists. Our care provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms, aiming to meet the physical, psychological, spiritual, cultural and social needs of patients and their family - helping make the most of life.

Marie Curie Cetre Liverpool

Marie Curie Cancer Care

Speke Road

89 Albert Embankment


London SE1 7TP

Liverpool L25 8QA

Charity Reg No. 207994

Tel: 0151 801 1400

(p.204) Appendix 6 Bereavement leaflet

It can be hard to accept the loss. You may experience a sence of shock and you may find yourself denying that the death has occurred. It is not unusual to think that you may have heard or seen the person who has died. In addition, many bereaved people feel strained and physically run down, finding it difficult to eat or sleep, and maybe feel tearful. Grief is time-consuming and exhausting.

You may find that you have lost all interest in living. Despair and depression may make you feel that there is no point in going on or that no-one else could possible experience what you are going through. You may need reassurance that all these are natural reactions to bereavement and not a sign that you are ‘going mad’ or letting down your family and friends.

As well as feeling grieved and sad, you must also be prepared for any of the following: guilt, panic, self-pity and anger-even at the person who has died. If you do experience any of these emotions, you may feel you ought to hide them, but they too are part of grieving; don't be afraid to share with a sympathetic listener. You may find yourself feeling hurt, convinced perhaps, that some of your family, friends or neighbours are avoiding you. Unfortunately, this often happens and is probably due to their embarrassment, not knowing what to say. It may be necessary for you to take the first step and let them know you would appreciate their support.

It is sometimes very tempting to feel that life would be more bearable if you moved house, or quickly disposed of possessions, or refused to see people. There is a very natural urge to avoid painful things. However, this usually makes things worse and decisions like these must be given careful thought. Bereavement is a time of very painful emotions which you will need to face and work through, before eventually beginning to rebuild your life.

With the passage of time, when the pain has eased a little, you will find yourself being able to remember without becoming so distressed. This can be a time for you to start taking up life afresh and it is important that you try to renew old interest and perhaps take up new pursuits. This might seem disloyal to the person who has died, but what has happened in the past is always a part of you and is not affected by your enjoying the present.

Grief is a very individual process and everyone reacts differently, so don't feel that you are in any way abnormal if yours does not appear to follow the pattern outlined here. It is important to allow yourself to grieve; but it is also important to take a break from grieving from time to time and eventually put it aside, even though you will never put aside the memories of the one you loved.

For those people whose relative or friend has died at the Marie Curie Centre, Liverpool, bereavement support is available. Social Workers, and trained volunteer bereavement visitors offer a follow-up service on a one-to-one basis. Bereavement Support Groups are also organised on a regular basis.

A Children and Yound People's Counsellor is available for the younger members of the family who may also be finding this a difficult and confusing time.

If you would like details of these services or would like to talk to someone about your situation, please contact Judith Williamson Principal Social Worker on 0151–801 1423 (direct line).

You may find it helpful to contact your local clergy or your G.P. Overleaf are details of other of other organisations that may also offer support, particularly if you live outside the Liverpool area.