Factsheet: Bereavement

This factsheet is available in a downloadable PDF here. 

Table of Contents

Key Points 
Training for Agencies
After a Suicide



The death of someone close to you can be shattering. The way we react is unique to each and every grieving person. Even among close family who have shared the same loss, each person may well respond differently. There is no one right way of grieving. 

At the same time there are some common experiences and to know others have shared these can be helpful. Many people talk of feelings of numbness, shock and being overwhelmed, making the most ordinary daily tasks a challenge. While some peole may immerse themselves more deeply in work or some other aspect of their lives, others may find it difficult to maintain any kind of routine. 

Even when we can respond to the demands of our day-to-day lives there will be other times when painful emotions overtake us. We may have feelings such as longing, helplessness, sadness, anger and guilt. It is not unusual following a death for people to think about their own death.


Key Points

  • Loss and grief affect people differently – so don’t be surprised at the different responses to grief, everyone responds differently. 
  • Listen and avoid being judgemental.
  • Most people learn to cope with grief without counselling, but reassure them that there is free, confidential and experienced help available.
  • The services can also provide specialist support for bereaved children, survivors after suicide, and people with mental health difficulties and drug and alcohol issues.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be no end to the grief for some people. 
  • Be aware that different cultures respond to death in different ways.
  • People can grieve for the death of their pets as well as major losses for example separation/divorce or other major change.



Cruse Bereavement Care
Tel: 0131 299 6275
Office: 3 Rutland Square, Edinburgh, EH1 2AS
Phone the above number or drop into the office for an information pack.
Cruse also offer home visits to people who are housebound.

The Junction- Drop In
Tel: 0131 553 0570
Office: 160 – 162 Great Junction Street, Leith, EH6 5LJ.

Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS)
Tel: 0131 622 6263
Office: Craiglockhart Centre, 177 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH14 1BZ.

Richmond’s Hope Bereavement Project (For Children & Young People 4-18yrs)
Tel: 0131 661 6818
Office: 227 Niddrie Mains Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4PA.


For a List of Counsellors in Midlothian and Edinburgh Please click here.


Training for Agencies

Face to Face: Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland runs 1 or 2-day workshops in loss and bereavement. These can be tailored to your setting.

Phone: 0131 229 9355 or email: [email protected] for details.

Paper-based literature: Cruse Bereavement Care has information packs including information on coping with major crisis. Phone: 0131 229 6275 or email: [email protected] to arrange for these to be posted to you.

After a Suicide

SAMH have produced the After a Suicide booklet to help those left behind when someone dies by suicide. It provides information about practical issues to deal with, common reactions to losing someone to suicide, and places where you can get help. To download the booklet in PDF format, please click here.

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