Key resources on bereavement
Cruse Bereavement Care. Describing themselves as “Somewhere to turn when someone dies”, Cruse provide a range of booklets and factsheets about bereavement, as well as a Freephone helpline. Some of the resources cover relatively specialist needs such as those of military families or the experience of coping with the loss of a loved one in sudden or traumatic circumstances. Cruse also provide training services for other charities or organisations working with the bereaved.
Among the information sheets provided by Child Bereavement UK (see below), some are equally relevant to the loss of a loved one of any age. The sheet Helping yourself through grief is one: “Go gently with yourself. Grief is a messy, exhausting and relentless business, but it is survivable. As human beings we have infinite resources within ourselves to heal and move forward, if we only allow ourselves the time to express the pain first”.
The charity At a Loss.org has been set up by Revd Canon Yvonne Tulloch who herself experienced sudden bereavement when her husband died on a business trip. She is quoted as saying "I spiralled down very rapidly and got to the point of beginning to think there's no point to my life any more. The thought of ending it began crossing my mind." The website aims to be a ’one stop shop' to connect bereaved people with the help they need, through an innovative “Find Support” facility.
Resources specifically on the death of children or for young people experiencing bereavement
Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement. They provide a large number of factsheets and suggestions for further reading, as well as offering a helpline, providing training and running support groups.
Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) focuses on the needs of those who have lost a baby. Under the “Support for you” tab on their website can be found a Family Support Pack which is a directory of excellent booklets on both emotional and practical subjects, including support ‘mainly for fathers’ and for grandparents, advice for employers and much more.
Hope Again is a spinoff site from Cruse (see above), specifically aimed at young people facing grief. It shares their stories in both written and vlog (video) form and does not shirk from ‘difficult’ issues like self-harming. It also offers a host of links to other relevant resources.
The Church of England site Going for Growth provides many links to resources for those dealing with bereavement and trauma affecting children and young people.
The Compassionate Friends is another charity supporting those who have suffered the death of a child of any age, and offer a helpline. Their film, Say Their Name, could be used as a training resource. It was made by the Good Grief Project which seeks to express the pain of loss through art. While secular, these resources might help some people to come to terms with grief.
Online tribute sites have become popular. The charity MuchLoved offers this facility, as well as a section of ‘grief resources’ including practical advice and further reading.