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Understanding grief

Bereavement is something that most people will experience in their lives and everyone reacts to their loss in their own unique way...

Grieving for someone close...

The death of someone close can sometimes seem like the most painful thing that has ever happened to you.


It can feel bewildering and even frightening. Grief is a natural reaction to loss.


There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Most people will experience similar feelings – initial shock, disbelief and numbness, through to periods of utter confusion, intense pain and questioning.


There may be anger, regrets, a sense of searching for the person who has died and feeling very alone. Sometimes you may feel very overwhelmed and at other times more in control and able to get on with day to day activities.


Grieving is not usually a smooth process; you may go from one feeling to another and back again. It takes time to adjust gradually to life without the person who has died.


The time this takes varies; there is not a definitive timescale as to how long this will be.

Things you can do to help yourself...

Bereavement webinars from

NHS Wellbeing Suffolk

Sign up to a 'Coping with bereavement webinar' 

for free from the NHS.

The session will offer an opportunity to look at the particular difficulties of bereavement and grief and explore different coping strategies.

There are monthly sessions and you can ​sign up to your preferred date.

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Sad on Couch

The Good Grief Trust

The Good Grief Trust offers information and maps different organisations that offer support in bereavement.


Check out the website for talks and webinars you can book onto throughout the year.


LivingGrief Resources 

St Elizabeth Hospice's bereavement service offers leaflets and resources to help you navigate grief and loss.

Download the bereavement pack which includes information on ways to support children, ways to remember loved ones and practical information for dealing with grief.


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Compassionate Communities

Compassionate Communities aims to break the taboo about death and dying by supporting people in their local communities.


St Elizabeth Hospice's Compassionate Communities project gives you the tools to help others - whether it be at work, through community events or supporting a neighbour or loved one going through a bereavement.

By supporting each other, we can help bring confidence to difficult conversations and help people at the end of their life.


Recommended books

with Suffolk Libraries

Take a look at the recommended book titles about compassion as part of St Elizabeth Hospice's Compassionate Communities project with Suffolk Libraries.

There are recommended titles for both adults and children.


Library Book Searching

Come together at Suffolk Remembers

Suffolk Remembers is an annual remembrance event by

St Elizabeth Hospice which is open to all, regardless if you have received hospice services.

Every Suffolk Day, on 21 June, people come together to remember loved ones at Felixstowe Spa Gardens.


The free event happens at sunset, with music, poems and speeches from those remembering. The poignant event sees candle dedications to  loved ones displayed to spell the words 'Suffolk Remembers' in a touching display. 


Make a Tribute Page

A Tribute Page is a permanent web page set up in memory of a loved one and is a wonderful way to honour the life of someone special.


It is a great thing to share with your family and friends and anyone can contribute to it.


The page is a positive and simple way to keep their memory alive.


Holding Hands

Remember at Christmas time

Every Christmas, St Elizabeth Hospice gives people an opportunity to remember loved ones together at Light up a Life. 

The event takes place in December in Ipswich and involves a church service, carols and readings to mark the occasion. 

From 2023, Light up a Life will be offering a service at the hospice on Foxhall Road in addition to the church service.


Part of Life

Part of Life exists to destigmatise death and dying. 

Germinating from a seed of an idea from Dorothy House, the team hope it will become a rich and varied library of research, conversations, stories and wellbeing resources for anyone interested in seeing death as a part of life.


Children grieve too...

Children have thoughts and feelings which they may express in different ways. 

They may want to draw pictures or tell stories. It is not possible to protect children from feeling sad, angry and hurt, but by talking to them and including them in what is going on, they can gradually understand what has happened. 

Drawing Class
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For more information on support for children, discover St Elizabeth Hospice's 565 Service. The service provides support for children, parents and professionals working with youngsters.

Find the support you need now:

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