Very few of us learn about grief until we find ourselves in the position of being someone who is grieving. And even if we have been bereaved before we often find that when we experience the death of someone else close to us, how we feel and react may be quite different.

We may experience a wide range of emotions which can seem overwhelming and which can lead us to question whether we are normal and people often say ‘I feel as if I am going mad’. Experiencing grief is very hard but is usually the normal reaction following the death of someone we feel very close to. We can also feel grief when someone we love is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness for which there is no cure or when it seems they are slipping away from as they develop memory loss and confusion through dementia.

If someone you care about is grieving, that can also be difficult because we know we cannot ‘make it better’. We cannot bring back the person who has died. Because we may feel helpless we often think someone needs counselling. Trained expert help is needed by some people who have experienced a bereavement but more often the support of any remaining family and friends is all that we need to make it through the really hard times until we feel able to focus on the future while still remembering and being grateful for the memories of the person who has died.