Grief Support Groups: Finding Comfort and Connection in Community

December 15, 2023

At some point in our lives, we will find ourselves grieving after losing someone we love. It is something that we just can’t avoid, and it is such a personal experience – we all grieve in different ways. Having a support system around you is one of the best ways you can help yourself get through this challenging time.

As well as having support from family and friends, there are lots of other support networks that can help with your healing process. They aren’t just available to people who have recently lost a loved one either, it can take years to come to terms with a loss from the past, and these groups are open to everyone.

Bereavement Support Groups

Local bereavement support groups are the most accessible option, and there are hundreds scattered all over the UK. Providing safe spaces for people to share their experiences and thoughts with others who have also experienced loss, they can be a great help. Not only do they offer practical advice such as coping mechanisms, but they also provide emotional support to help you get through what can feel like a very lonely time.

Local bereavement groups are usually run by charities, community groups, and religious organisations. Sometimes they are led by trained facilitators, others are peer-led with members supporting each other and guiding the sessions.

Online Support Groups

If you aren’t feeling strong enough to leave your home and talk to people face-to-face, online communities are a great alternative. Online forums and support groups provide that same sense of community, allowing you to connect with others who are going through grief too. You can always remain anonymous if you wish, while still being able to share your thoughts and feelings with others.

Professional Support

Sometimes speaking to others who are going through similar to you isn’t quite enough and you may feel better having some professional support. Speaking with a trained professional can help you process your feelings and help you come to terms with your grief in a safe environment. Many organisations and charities offer counseling services to those suffering from grief, so you should be able to find somewhere local to you.

Take Care of Yourself

Coming to terms with grief can sometimes feel incredibly overwhelming, and you will experience emotions you have never had to deal with before. You will probably feel lost, sad, and maybe even confused, so it is important to look after both your physical and mental health at this time. Self-care needs to become a priority, no matter how busy your life is, to bring a sense of normality back into your life.

Physical activity is a great way to manage stress and improve your mood with the release of endorphins. Even just taking a brisk walk has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression, so make sure you take time to get out in nature and breathe in all that fresh air.

Meditation and mindfulness practices are also great ways to ground yourself and process the emotions you are going through. Both of these involve taking time to stay in the present moment and acknowledge the emotions you are feeling. Helping to give you a sense of calmness and maybe even some clarity.

Remember that everyone grieves differently, and you may find a mixture of these support groups help you rather than just sticking to one option. Don’t be afraid to keep trying things, and if they don’t work for you that is ok. As long as you have some kind of support network around you to help you through this difficult time, it doesn’t matter how you achieve that.