Adult Carers

I am grieving

Losing someone close to you is a highly distressing experience, associated with a range of powerful emotions. 

Grief is a very complex and intensely personal set of feelings. It is not just one feeling – it’s often many emotions that follow on from one another but not in any order.

Signs of Grief

If the person you’ve been caring for has died, bereavement brings with it a number of different losses:

  • The loss of the person you’ve been caring for and the relation you had with them
  • The loss of the role you had as a carer and the purpose and identity this gave you
  • The loss of, or disconnection from, some of the things you may have give up or lost while you were a carer – this could include losing touch with friends or work.

Grief is a very complex and intensely personal set of feelings. It is not just one feeling – it’s often many emotions that follow on from one another but not in any order. The charity, Marie Curie, lists some of the emotions that people often report feeling when they are grieving. You may feel:

  • Shocked
  • Sad
  • Anxious or agitated
  • Exhausted
  • Relieved
  • Guilty
  • Angry
  • Calm
  • Lacking in purpose
  • Resentful
  • Numb (feeling nothing at all).

The charity, Cruse Bereavement Support, explains that grief can also affect us physically in several ways. You may find that your appetite has changed, that you’re having difficulty sleeping, that you have no energy or you’re having difficulty concentrating. It is also common to feel heart palpitations or physical pain after someone close to you dies.

The charity, Mind, points out that people who are bereaved by suicide can have a particularly complex set of feelings and can experience additional struggles and dilemmas in trying to resolve their grief.

There is no right or wrong way to feel when someone close to you dies. You may not feel some of these things. Or you may feel something else entirely. You may find that your mood changes quickly, or that you feel differently in different situations and at different times. People who have been bereaved often say they feel ‘up and down’, or ‘all over the place’, or that they have a ‘roller coaster’ of emotions. Grief can be lonely – and can lead to depressing thoughts and even thoughts of suicide. It is alright to experience, and to express, these thoughts.

Action you can take right now

Grief takes time, and the amount of time it takes will differ for every person – and for every bereavement they experience. Most people say that over time, their grief becomes less intense, and they adapt to living life without the person physically in it. But that does not mean that their grief ends or goes away completely.

When you’re in the midst of grief, it can feel overwhelming.  During this time, it is important to be kind to yourself – and do what feels right for you. It will take time to work out who you are in this new phase of your life. However, some things that other people have found helpful to ease the pain of grief are:

  • Walking: Walking can help lift your mood and improve your sleep. Walking with others can help you connect with other people. Walking side-by-side can make difficult conversations easier than talking face-to-face.
  • Nature: Being in nature helps you feel connected to the present when you may be spending much of your time thinking about the past. Being in green spaces can help you feel calmer and reduce stress.

The charity, Mind, has a number of suggestions for things you can try outdoors to support your mental health.

If you have recently been bereaved by suicide, you may find it helpful to talk through what you are feeling. See the links below to where to get more help.

More Information



  • Effects of grief, Cruse Bereavement Support – Explains the ways in which grief can affect us emotionally, physically and mentally.
  • Grieving in your own way, Marie Curie – Discusses the experience of grief and provides links to support if it’s needed.
  • When caring changes or ends, Marie Curie – Discusses ways of coping with the big adjustments that must be made when your role as a carer changes, or the person you’ve cared for dies.
  • Bereavement and grief self-help guide, NHS Inform – This guide aims to help you understand the experience of grief; cope with the effects of grief; and decide if you need further help coping with your grief.
  • Yoga for grief and loss, Cruse Bereavement Support – Discusses the benefits of yoga as a tool in coping with grief and provides a link to a guided session (by Adriene) on Yoga for Grief.



  • What we’ve learnt about grief, Cariad Lloyd, BBC Sounds (36.5 minutes) – A comedian and award-winning creator of Griefcast, Cariad Lloyd, investigates the science that is revolutionising our understanding of grief.
  • Griefcast, Cariad Lloyd (a series of podcasts, all around 1 hour long) – Described as ‘funny people talking about death and grief’. In each episode, Lloyd makes space for natural, unhurried conversations – allowing her guests to talk about death where, in her words, “Nobody’s going to change the subject.”
  • Podcasts to help with grief and loss, Cruse Bereavement Support – A selection of podcasts in a variety of formats and styles.



  • What does grief feel like? Cruse Bereavement Support (1 minute) – Explains some of the physical feelings we associate with grief and bereavement.
  • How does grief feel? Marie Curie (11.5 minutes) – Four individuals discuss their very different personal experiences of grief.
  • Richard E Grant shares his experience of grieving, Happy Place with Fearne Cotton (50 minutes) – Before she died in 2021, Richard E Grant’s wife told him he must find a ‘pocketful of happiness’ in each day.
  • What helps with grief? Marie Curie (6 minutes) – Four individuals talk about what helped them get through the process of grieving.

Where to get more help

Some people find that their feelings of grief do not lessen, and they find it difficult to manage daily activities. For example, they might struggle to go to work, to look after children or socialise with friends. If you’re experiencing this or you are finding it hard to cope, speak to your GP.


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