BEREAVEMENT CARE FOLLOWING THE DEATH
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear
C S Lewis 1898 - 1963
We remember so clearly those last things… it makes a huge impact, those last impressions, they feature in your dreams…” Bereavement Suite user1
This chapter addresses the steps that healthcare staff should take
to support people who have been bereaved following a death. The aim of such support is to facilitate an acceptance of the fact of the death and, through that, to lay a foundation which will enable good outcomes for
those who are bereaved.
A wide variety of healthcare staff may be in contact with people
who have been bereaved [See Frontispiece Page support to those who have been bereaved, within
Staff should offer
be prepared to refer to others where necessary.
Bereavement is best viewed as a process that occurs over time.
The journey of grief may begin at the time of death or at the point that
possibility or the imminence of death becomes apparent.
months or even years following the death.
Each person is different, and will experience grief in an individual
way. There are, however, recognised components and stages in grief of
1 Quoted in Waller S, Dewar S, Masterson A, Finn H, Improving Environments for Care at End of Life, Kings Fund, 2008.
Shaping Bereavement Care 27