When Someone Dies
How you respond to a death or a bereaved person will be very individual and personal. These are some of the things people often say when someone dies. They may help you to feel that you are not completely alone, or to understand what someone you know is going through.
'I can't believe it'
it may take you a long time to grasp what has happened. Some people carry on as if nothing has happened. It is hard to believe that someone important is not coming back
'I feel nothing'
the shock can make you numb, you may feel you're in a different world
'Why did it have to happen?'
death can seem cruel and unfair, especially when you feel someone has died before their time or when you had plans for the future together
'I feel such pain'
physical and mental pain can feel completely overwhelming and very frightening
'I go over it again and again'
you can't stop thinking about the events leading up to the death
you may feel guilty about things you have said or did or that you didn't say or do
'I feel so depressed, life has no meaning, I can't go on'
many people say there are times after a death when they feel there is nothing worth living for and they feel like ending it all
'I hear and see her, what is wrong with me?'
thinking you are hearing or seeing someone who has died is a common experience and can happen when you least expect it
'They said I'd be over it in a few months'
many people find it takes much longer to learn to cope without someone to love
'One minute I'm angry and the next minute I can't stop crying'
many people find the mood swings very frightening
What Can Help?
These are some of the things that people tell Cruse they find helpful - you may have other ideas which will be based on what you know of yourself or about someone you are trying to help. If you are helping don't be afraid of saying the wrong thing. We can all help someone cope with the pain and help them feel they are not alone. If you are bereaved some of these ideas may be of help to you:
- 'I appreciated the letters people wrote,
knowing they were thinking about me and Susan,who died'
- 'I wanted to talk over and over again.
I talked to my family, to my friends, anyone who would listen. I wanted them to understand how I was feeling, I wanted them to help me remember'
- 'I wanted people to say they knew what had happened,
not avoid it or pretend they didn't know'
- 'I needed someone to tell me what to do
about the funeral, how to organise a memorial service and what money I could claim'
- 'I wanted time off work,
only a couple of days at the beginning, but his birthday and our anniversary were really hard and my boss let me have extra days off'
- 'Sometimes I needed to be busy
but other times it was great when people offered to help'
- 'I kept some special things
that remind me of good times we spent together'
- 'I realised that this was one time I couldn't cope on my own
and I learned to accept help. When I felt I needed more than my family and friends could manage I talked to a Cruse volunteer'
Cruse Bereavement Care exists to promote the well-being of bereaved people and to enable anyone
suffering a bereavement caused by death to understand their grief and cope with their loss.