Bereavement and Grief Counselling in Halifax

Do you need help to cope with a bereavement or loss of a loved one?

Bereavement, Grief and Loss

(including the loss of a pet)

Are you finding it very difficult to cope with feelings of grief and loss? If so, I am here to help you, having worked providing grief and bereavement counselling in Halifax for over 12 years now with people who have been suffering with such emotions.

People sometimes experience complex and complicated grieving about different types of loss and these people should seek help quite soon, since their mental health can suffer, if they do not get the help that they need.

It is particularly difficult and heart-breaking to experience the loss of a child and to experience losing a loved one, because their death was due to suicide.

Please call me on 07913 979561 if you are in need of professional help.

I can help you – and I will help you.

Death (including the death of a beloved pet) is not the only event which causes people to feel bereaved and to suffer from acute feelings of grief and loss. There are also losses to consider, such as: divorce, separation, miscarriage and abortion, illness, redundancy, dismissal from a job, retirement, moving home, infertility, loss of a limb, having a partner who is suffering from dementia, to name some examples of loss.

How bereavement, grief and loss can affect you

There are many different emotions and behaviours associated with grief and loss and each individual person will feel and behave differently about their loss.

The way grief and loss affects you depends on several things, including the type of loss you have experienced, your upbringing, your beliefs or religion, your age, your relationships, and your physical and mental health.

Some feelings may last a short time, while others go on for longer. It is helpful to take each day as it comes, in the early stages of grief and loss, but, please seek help from a qualified counsellor, if you find that you are really struggling.

Some of the more common feelings people experience are as follows:

  • distress/emotional disturbance of all kinds
  • shock and numbness
  • denial
  • anxiety
  • emotional pain
  • despair/helplessness
  • anger
  • guilt
  • loneliness
  • worry and fear
  • sadness
  • yearning/longing
  • crying
  • relief.

All of these feelings are completely natural reactions. You are not alone in your feelings and what you are going through is normal and understandable.

You will react and grieve in your own, unique way.

Shock and Numbness

Many people describe feeling shocked and numb in the days and weeks after a relative or friend has died.
Shock. This occurs most often in the case of a sudden death, but may also occur after an expected death.
Numbness. This is commonly experienced early in the grieving process and serves to protect us from being overwhelmed by a flood of feelings.


This is the most familiar reaction to grief, and it helps us by evoking sympathy and protective responses in those around us.
The sadness you feel after the death of a relative or friend can be overwhelming. Some people describe it as a physical pain. It can stop you wanting to do things like going out with friends, going to work, or even getting out of bed.
Some people become very depressed and stop looking after themselves properly. If this happens, you should seek professional help from a qualified counsellor.


The stress of bereavement is heightened by the fact that there is nothing we can do to reverse the death, leaving us feeling helpless and in despair.


Guilt is a very common symptom of bereavement, particularly in the case of a suicide. It most often is irrational and will lessen with reality testing.
People feel guilty for different reasons after the death of a relative or friend. You may think that if you had said or done something differently, they might not have died.

There may be things you wish you had been able to talk about or do with them while they were still alive.
Some people feel guilty because they are relieved that their relative or friend has died (if, for example, the deceased had been ill, suffering and in pain for an extended period of time).


Anger is a common feeling following the death of a relative or friend. Some people describe being shocked at how angry they feel. Try not to worry about it, as it is a normal feeling to have. Anger may be directed at different people
This anger comes from two sources. First, we feel frustrated that we couldn’t prevent the death. Second, it is a normal regressive experience to feel anger at the person that “abandoned” us. These feelings need to be acknowledged and eventually accepted as being directed at the deceased. It is very common to displace anger onto another target, such as paramedics or other health care personnel. If anger is turned inward toward ourselves, it may develop into suicidal behaviour.


Some people describe feeling relieved when their relative or friend dies. This may be because they were very ill for a long time, needed a lot of care, or had symptoms that were difficult to control.

When someone is suffering, it is natural to wish for their suffering to end. There is no need to feel guilty about this.


Some people describe an intense longing to see, speak to, or hold the person who has died. They wish the person could come back again. This can make it difficult to get on with doing other things.

Some people dream about the person who has died. This can be very upsetting when they wake up and realise the person is no longer here.

For some people, the longing is so intense, it feels that life without that person is unbearable. If you feel like you cannot continue, please get help from a professional, qualified counsellor.


Many people find that they cry easily after the death of a relative or friend. Crying can be a response to all the emotions described here. People often say they suddenly start crying when they least expect it, even months or years later.

You may start crying if you hear a song or visit a place that has happy memories for you and your relative or friend. Try not to worry about how often you cry. It is a healthy response to your feelings.

Some people find they cannot cry, and this may worry them. There is no need to worry if you do not cry. It does not mean you do not feel the loss. Crying cannot usually be forced. You should just do what feels right for you.

Anxiety, Worry and Fear

Fear is another common and natural feeling after the death of a relative or friend. For example, you may worry about having to do things on your own and how you are going to manage, or you may worry about going back to work or going out socially.

Our way of looking at the world may have been shattered by our loss. This can range from a light sense of insecurity to a strong panic attack. The sources for this anxiety are the fear that we won’t be able to take care of ourselves on our own and a heightened sense of our own mortality.

These feelings are understandable and usually get better with time.


Many people describe feeling very lonely following the death of a relative or friend. This is understandable, particularly if the person who has died is someone you shared your life or your home with for a long time.

This is particularly a problem for surviving spouses or in other close day-to-day relationships. It may be very intense if we had an extremely close or conflictual relationship.

Loneliness is often described as a constant feeling that does not go away. People describe feeling lonely even when they are going about their everyday lives and are surrounded by family and friends. This is not unusual. It may take time to get used to the person not being around.

You may sometimes think you see or sense the person and then remember they are no longer here. You may find yourself talking to the person who has died. It is fine to do this and you may find it helpful.

Many people also have physical symptoms

Physical Symptoms of Grief

Many people have physical symptoms after the death of a relative or friend. These can be frightening. Some people say the symptoms are so strong that they worry they are seriously ill, but, physical reactions are quite common. They can include:

  • Your heart beating fast (palpitations)
  • Tightness in the forehead, throat, or chest
  • Dry mouth
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea and/or a hollow feeling in the stomach
  • Hypersensitivity to noise
  • Lack of energy, weakness
  • Sense of depersonalisation
  • Feeling sick
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling very tired (exhaustion)
  • Poor concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Poor appetite
  • Losing weight.


Sleep Disturbances. These are very common. They may sometimes require medical intervention, but in normal grief they usually correct themselves. They can sometimes symbolise various fears, such as the fear of dreaming, the fear of being in bed alone, and the fear of not awakening.
Appetite Disturbances. Loss of appetite is more common than increased appetite, but both are very common.
Absent-Minded Behaviour. This can be dangerous if, for example, we are not paying attention while crossing the street or driving.
Social Withdrawal. This is usually short-lived and corrects itself. It can also include a loss of interest in the outside world, such as giving up TV and newspapers.
Dreams of the Deceased. Both dreams and nightmares are very common and can give clues as to our progress in our course of mourning.
Avoiding Reminders of the Deceased. We may avoid places or things that trigger painful feelings of grief. When we get rid of belongings right away, it can lead to complicated bereavement.
Visiting Places or Carrying Objects that Remind Us of the Deceased. Often we have an underlying fear of losing memories of the deceased.

People sometimes experience complex and complicated grieving about different types of loss and these people should seek help quite soon, since their mental health can suffer, if they do not get the help that they need.

I can help you – and I will help you.

You can send a contact form via my Contact Page or call me on 07913 979561 or 01422 321412 to get the help that you need.