Circumstances can affect your grief

What happened in the hours and days before the death can make a big difference to how you grieve.

Sometimes knowing a loved one is dying, however difficult that is, prepares you in some way. You may have been able to spend time with them, talking about their death and what it will mean. This is often helpful in the months that follow, even though you may feel you could never have been truly prepared for their death.

If the person died peacefully, you might find you draw comfort from that peace; there is perhaps a sense of acceptance about the loss, even if you feel sad.

If the death was very sudden, or in traumatic circumstances, there may be a sense of things being left unfinished or unsaid.

It is not unusual for grief to feel more complex when this happens. Grief may also be complicated if you had a difficult relationship with the person who died, but still cared about them.


This information was last reviewed in April 2017
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