The HABS team are all trained in bereavement and loss, delivering 1:1 support and groups to adults, children and young people.

When you lose someone close to you at times the emotional pain can be so intense and overwhelming that you think that feeling will never end, you cannot see how you could ever be happy again or continue with life. The hurt and pain can seem so personal, this is something which has happened to you and nobody else, but it does help to keep reminding yourself that however hard and painful it is to bear the loss of a loved one, it is nevertheless part of life, it will happen to everyone at some stage or another.

Anyone who has been bereaved will know that your feelings can change very quickly from one minute to the next. One minute you may feel you are coping and the next dragged back into the depths of despair feeling there is no point in going on. The reality is that grief does run its course and although it does not feel like it – time is a healer – and if you allow yourself to grieve you should get to a stage where you can remember the person who has died and focus on the good memories. You can still miss the person terribly – but it won’t be affecting your everyday life or stopping you from moving on with your own life. When you get to that stage, yes there will be sadness when you remember your loved one but the enormous feeling of pain will have faded.

You may feel angry at the person who has died for leaving you on your own – you may feel guilty at having wished the person would die in cases for instance of a severely ill person who was suffering pain and a poor quality of life – these are perfectly normal feelings to have and try and express how you feel rather than keep those feelings inside you.

Everyone’s reaction to grief is different but it is healthy and natural to express emotion – to get out your pain, anger, hurt, frustration, loneliness – rather than suppressing feelings which can ultimately make it harder to go through the grieving process and move on. You may find that family, friends, etc. do not allow you to talk about the person who has died, they may avoid talking about the person who has died, they may tell you not to cry – people are often afraid to talk because they may feel it would cause you more distress to mention the person. However many people who are bereaved want to talk and want to cry and this should be encouraged – if you are in a situation where you do not have people in your life to talk to there are helplines and counsellors who will allow you to talk and help you to grieve.

Don’t be afraid to say to people that it helps you to talk and you want to talk. Sometimes other people just don’t know the best way to help you or what they can say to help – when someone is grieving words can seem so meaningless and empty and other people cannot guess what will help you in your grieving.

It is common for some people to feel ‘disloyal’ to the person who has died by ‘feeling better’ – however the reality is that by ‘feeling better’ it does not mean the person means any less to you – just that you have accepted the reality that the person has gone. In order to carry on living you need to be able to let go of the person who has died and if you are finding great difficulty in that and a considerable period of time has elapsed since the person died – you may find that counselling will help you to let go. Holding onto pain will not help you to keep hold of the person you have lost and ultimately the person who has died would want you to move on with your life. If it helps to talk to the person who has died, to look at photos, to go to places where they enjoyed going, that is a way of keeping their memory alive but try not to stop it from allowing you to meet other people, get on with your everyday living, do things you enjoy, etc.

One of the difficult things to come to terms with – particularly in sudden death – is that you may not have had time to say goodbye and all the things you wanted to say. To move on you need to allow yourself to say these things. Some people find it helps to go to a quiet place – maybe somewhere you know the person who has died would have liked and to speak out loud as if the person was there about everything you would have liked to have said before the person died – or some people find it helps to write a letter to the person who died and includes in it everything they wanted to say. Find whatever way suits you which enables you to say everything you would have liked to have said but didn’t.

Support groups and advice lines

Cruse Bereavement Care Hertfordshire

Promotes the well-being or bereaved people and enables anyone suffering bereavement to understand their grief and cope with their loss. There is a 24-hour answerphone facility to leave an out of hours message in confidence.

Adults: 01707 278389 / Children: 01707264293


Cancer Research UK forum

Looking to talk to other young adults who has a parent with cancer? Sometimes it can be very comforting to speak to others who are going through the same sort and thing and hopefully support one another.

Ollie Foundation

In 2016, three parents who had all lost their teenage sons to suicide, vowed to do all they could to prevent other families suffering similar tragedies. And so The OLLIE Foundation was born. In the summer of 2016 the first safeTALK and ASIST training was delivered by Terry Rigby of Forward For Life, and Caron Thompson of Common Unity, on behalf of OLLIE. By October 2016 OLLIE had its own trainers and the first OLLIE run sessions were delivered.

The OLLIE Foundation
Faulkner House
Victoria Street
St Albans


Call 07715 311891

SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement By Suicide)

The only national charity providing dedicated support to adults who have been bereaved by suicide. The charity is run by 150 volunteers, nearly all have been touched by suicide which enables them to directly connect with others experiencing bereavement by suicide.

National helpline : 0300 111 5065

Help Is At Hand

An NHS resource for those bereaved by suicide, or apparent suicide, which includes a detailed advice booklet.

Bereavement Advice Centre

There are many practical issues to manage when someone dies. Bereavement Advice Centre supports and advises people on what they need to do after a death. Bereavement Advice Centre is a free helpline and web-based information service provided by Simplify. We give practical information and advice and signposting on the many issues and procedures that face us after the death of someone close.

If we do not know the answer to a concern or query we will research it and call back within an agreed period of time or signpost to another organisation which can give the information required.We welcome calls from bereaved people and the professionals and volunteers who support them. Bereavement Advice Centre helps many people every day and aims to give straightforward, useful advice when you need it.

Our aim is to identify and respond to areas of need rather than duplicate existing services. This is why we focus on practical concerns and signpost to other types of help.

Bereavement Advice Centre was formally launched at the House of Commons in 2007 and is provided by Simplify.

Simplify is committed to providing Bereavement Advice Centre as a free at the point of access service. We take considerable care to be transparent about this relationship to all callers. Bereavement Advice Centre does not receive any funding from government or charities.

How do we get our information?

The information on this site is sourced from government and other professional websites and publications and experienced staff within Bereavement Advice Centre. It is reviewed and updated regularly. Information on these pages is of a general nature and we would encourage you to telephone us so we can give information and advice that applies to your specific circumstances.

Bereavement Advice Centre

What to do when someone dies. There are many practical matters to attend to when someone dies. Bereavement Advice Centre supports and advises people on what they need to do after a death.

Call freephone 0800 634 9494

Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm


Child Bereavement UK

Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals both when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, and when a   child is facing bereavement.     


Hope Again (for young people)

Hope Again is Cruse Bereavement Care’s website for young people.  Cruse is a national charity that provides support, advice and information to children,  young people and adults when someone close to them dies. We also work to enhance society’s care of bereaved people. – Adults

The Cruse Bereavement Care Freephone National Helpline is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement. The Cruse National Helpline will be open as usual over the holiday period, offering a listening ear and emotional support to anyone who has lost someone they love, or been affected by a bereavement. All calls are answered by trained Cruse volunteers.

The number is 0808 808 1677​

You can also email

The helpline is open Monday-Friday 9.30-5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when we’re open until 8pm.

Very occasionally we may record or listen in to a small number of calls for quality or training purposes, but this is not something we do regularly.



Winstons Wish – for adults to help children with loss

Winston’s Wish was the UK’s first childhood bereavement charity. We have been supporting bereaved children since 1992 and we continue to lead the way in providing specialist child bereavement support services across the UK. This includes in-depth therapeutic support in individual, group and residential settings, as well as a Freephone National Helpline, training for professionals and specialist publications.

Freephone National Helpline:08088 020 021

Things you can try to help with bereavement, grief and loss, try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor –    you could also contact a support organisation such as

Cruse Bereavement Care or call: 0808 808 1677

WAY is the only national charity in the UK for people aged 50 or under when their partner died. It’s a peer-to-peer support group operating with a network of volunteers who have been bereaved at a young age themselves, so they understand exactly what other members are going through.

Help 2 Make Sense is an online tool brought to you by Winston’s Wish. It aims to help young people who have experienced the death of a loved one come to terms with their loss.

We know how beneficial it can be to learn that you are not alone. That you are not the only young person going through this.

Our email service is a UK-wide national email service, offering support, information and advice to anyone seeking it. It is staffed by people with extensive experience, who have up-to-date knowledge of supporting bereaved children and their families.

Do you need an answer to a question? Are you looking for more information? Here’s where you can submit anything by email and we will respond directly.  Emails are free and confidential.

You can ask a question using the form below or by email