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Bereavement - advice and support

When somebody close to you dies, you will need advice and support to help you deal with your loss. Your loss is unique to you and you will cope with it in your own way.

Bereavement is a highly personal and often traumatic event and many people go through a range of reactions and emotions when someone close to them dies.

You can seek practical help from a funeral director or from your family doctor but there are also many agencies that can offer you more guidance or support and advice about what happens next and what you need to do. You may be able to get support from your solicitor, your church or social care services. If health visitors or district nurses worked with the person who died, they may also be able to help. If the person died in a hospital, staff there can sometimes give you practical advice about what to do.

Simply talking to someone sympathetic, who understands what you're going through, can be a big help. This may be a friend or work colleague but it could be a bereavement counsellor whose job is simply to listen and offer support.

There are agencies who can provide information and advice:

Cruse Bereavement Care works with and supports people who have been bereaved. It focuses on helping them understand their grief, and cope with their loss. Its services are free. There is a Craven and Bradford District branch who can be contact by telephone 01756 797799.

Age UK is a national charity focused on helping and supporting the elderly. It can offer practical advice on what you need to do when someone close to you dies. It can help you find out how to go about registering a death, arranging a funeral and sorting out financial matters.

The Samaritans offer confidential, non-judgemental support through a telephone help line 08457 90 90 90. The line is available 24 hours a day, and is for people who are experiencing severe distress or despair. It also offers support through emails, letters and face-to-face meetings.

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