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Greater Manchester Bereavement Service Posted on 6 May 2020

Do:

  • Be there for the person who is grieving – pick up the phone, write a letter or an email, call by or arrange to visit.
  • Accept that everyone grieves in their own way, there is no ‘normal’ way.
  • Encourage the person to talk.
  • Listen to the person.
  • Create an environment in which the bereaved person can be themselves and show their feelings, rather than having to put on a front.
  • Be aware that grief can take a long time.
  • Contact the person at difficult times such as special anniversaries and birthdays.
  • Mention useful support agencies such as Cruse Bereavement Care.
  • Offer useful practical help.

Don’t:

  • Avoid someone who has been bereaved.
  • Use clichés such as ‘I understand how you feel’, ‘You’ll get over it’ or ‘Time heals’.
  • Tell them it’s time to move on, they should be over it – how long a person needs to grieve is entirely individual.
  • Be alarmed if the bereaved person doesn’t want to talk or demonstrates anger.
  • Underestimate how emotionally draining it can be when supporting a grieving person. Make sure you take care of yourself too.

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