"People often say things to a bereavement listener that they feel unable to discuss with family and friends"

Bereavement Support

Supporting adults coping with bereavement

There are many different ways of dealing with bereavement and some may find certain ways more beneficial than others. One common method is using existing means of social support, such as friends and family. However, if friends and family live far away or they are unavailable to contact, people may look to information booklets about bereavement with some practical advice if needed. However, a number of people who are still struggling after these options may prefer longer term bereavement support such as bereavement counselling.

At Florence Nightingale Hospice our adult Bereavement Support service is provided by specially trained Bereavement Listeners, offering one-to-one sessions that are supervised and can be held any day of the week, morning or evening. These sessions can take place at the Hospice, home or in a place comfortable for the person experiencing bereavement. The aim of the service is to help adults re-establish their own lives, but sometimes these needs can be complex and ongoing. The level of bereavement care and its nature vary depending on the needs of the person and their previous experience of loss.

The importance of listening

Some people who are bereaved feel unable to talk about their loss with family and friends. Where several members of a family are grieving, it can be difficult to support one another. Bereavement listening helps fill this void. The Bereavement Listener offers an opportunity to talk about loss and feelings. People often say things to a Bereavement Listener that they feel unable to discuss with family and friends.

The death of someone close can be the most devastating experience that we will ever have. Grief is very individual and can last weeks, months or even years. Grief is a journey and affects people in a variety of ways. Bereavement listening can help make sense of the stages of that journey. It can be a struggle to come to terms with what has happened and to the adjustments needed after someone has died. The Bereavement Listener can provide the reassurance and strategies for coping during this difficult time.

"It is very important for families to be offered this service in their time of need," says David Nash, Bereavement Support Lead. "Most bereaved people will find ways to work through their grief and loss with the support of family and friends. Many, though, do not want to burden family members, or do not have family living locally and want to talk about their experience of bereavement, and how they are feeling and coping….or not, as the case may be. Often, a listening ear, an understanding of normal reactions to grief, reassurance and someone available to help them take some control of their thoughts and feelings can prove very beneficial.”

Time to Remember

Our ‘Time to Remember’ service is held at Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity, Walton Lodge, Aylesbury, and is an opportunity for families and friends to come together and remember a loved one.

The format is a short service (25 minutes approx) of readings from various sources, intertwined with hymns, and with a central act of remembrance in which the names of those who have died are read out and a memorial candle is lit. Everyone is welcome to attend to participate or simply to remember and to pay respect to those who have died. There is an opportunity to view the remembrance book and talk with other relatives or members of the Bereavement Support Team over tea/coffee at the end of the service.

Bereavement Support Groups

Bereavement Support Groups are being introduced this year as an addition to one-to-one sessions and the Time To Remember services. For more information please contact David Nash on FNH.Bereavement@buckshealthcare.nhs.uk.

What people say about how Bereavement Support helps

"I’m very grateful to have someone who could listen and empathise and be non-judgemental. Thanks.”

“I could not have left my home at the time. I could not imagine where I would be without the service I had.”

“It sometimes frightens me to think what I might have done without this support as I was so very low after the death of my husband. I will be forever grateful.”

Bereavement Support Team Contact Details

David Nash – Bereavement Support Lead

Dorothy Howlett – Adult Bereavement Support Team

Email: FNH.Bereavement@buckshealthcare.nhs.uk

Child Bereavement Support

Click here to find out more about our Child Bereavement Support services.

Useful links

For Child Bereavement UK click here

For Cruse click here 

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