A message from All Saints Church Bereavement Care Group
The loss of a loved one
Coming to terms with the loss of a loved one is perhaps the most difficult experience of anyone’s life. Everyone has a unique way of grieving and no one else can properly understand the emotions you are going through. There isn’t a right or wrong way to grieve.
Whatever you are feeling is just as it should be.
In the midst of this great emotional upheaval, there may be little time to think, with arrangements to be made, people to contact, business to conduct, paperwork to attend to and a host of other matters.
In most cases family and friends will rally round for a while, offering comfort, advice and practical help.
After the funeral
Once the funeral has passed and family and friends have returned to their normal routines, there is then that time of reflection, of memories, which lasts for an indeterminate amount of time – each person’s experience will be different. At this stage there can often be a real need to talk to someone, to share memories or simply to express feelings. Many people have friends and family to fill this need, but some people find it easier to talk to someone who is not closely linked to them or to their loved one.
What does the Bereavement Care Group do?
At All Saints Church we have a Bereavement Care group: a group of people ready, if needed, to visit those who have recently been bereaved and who would simply like to talk with someone. The group’s members are not counsellors and cannot help with legal, financial or probate matters. But they have all had training in listening and supporting and are available to give you space to talk in confidence.
How does the Group contact me?
Generally, about 8–12 weeks after a funeral the priest who conducted the ceremony will send a letter to the next of kin saying that a named member of the group will be in contact – normally by telephone – to see if a visit would be welcome.
What happens if I would like support?
The person named in the letter will call to see how you are doing. If you would like support from the group they can either keep in touch by telephone, or, more usually, they will arrange a time, to suit you, to visit you in your own home. Each visit lasts approximately an hour – less if you prefer. The number and frequency of the visits/calls are agreed between the visitor and you, depending on how you are feeling.
I’m not religious – does that matter?
No! The visitors are here to support you through this difficult time. They will not mention God or their religious beliefs. This time is just about you.
What if I don’t want a visit when the person calls?
The offer of a visit is sincere, but there is no obligation whatsoever to accept it. It might be that talking to someone you don’t know isn’t right for you or that, by the time we call, you don’t want to talk – your feelings seem under control or you still have plenty of support around you. If, at a later time, you do feel in need of our support, you are welcome to call the Parish office (0118 979 2797) and a visit can be arranged.