02 Dec 2020

Wills & Probate

National Grief Awareness Week aims to break down taboos and get people sharing their stories of loss

Today marks the start of National Grief Awareness Week, an annual initiative to try to normalise grief and get people talking about what is usually an uncomfortable subject. Our head of Wills & Probate, Laura Selby, examines why it is so important for people who have lost loved ones to be able to talk about how they are feeling.

Whatever the circumstances, losing a close family member or friend can be one of the most traumatic experiences you ever have to go through. It can feel like your world has been turned upside down.

The idea behind National Grief Awareness Week is to help people who have been bereaved to feel acknowledged and understood, while helping them to get the support that they need.

Importantly, it also aims to help people who are supporting grieving friends and family know what to say and do as this can often be difficult.

Feeling overwhelmed

In the days immediately following your loss, facing even the simplest of tasks can feel overwhelming but there is lots that needs to be done. Firstly, there will be a lot of paperwork and admin to sort out, from registering the death and arranging the funeral to managing their finances and dealing with their estate. Having to navigate your way through all of this, plus all the calls and messages from well-wishers, can make it very difficult for you to find any time to actually grieve.

This year has been even harder than usual for those people who have lost loved ones or family members. They have not been able to reach out to family and friends for a much-needed hug. Any human connection has been incredibly difficult, causing a great deal of trauma and distress and leaving many people feeling very alone and isolated.

Share your Story

As part of National Grief Awareness Week, the organisers are launching a ‘Share your Story’ campaign, intended to help those who are grieving to know that the person who has died will be remembered and can help them to process their grief. It also aims to help others understand the impact of grief and loss and will enable conversations to take place, and open up emotions and feelings that are often difficult to express.

Death has long been a taboo subject, particularly in the UK, so this initiative is certainly a step in the right direction. But in the same way that it is important still to talk about a person after they have died and tell people how you are feeling when you are grieving for them, it is also important for us all to think about dying and plan for it before the time comes.

Making a Will

Sadly, around 60 per cent of the adult UK population does not have a Will, which means they will have no say in what happens to their property, finances, belongings or dependants when they die. Having a properly prepared Will in place provides peace of mind that your estate will be dealt with as you wish and will remove additional stress from the process for those who are left behind trying to grieve.

Grief is a natural response to loss but often the pain can be overwhelming. In amongst all the practical tasks that need to be done, make sure you allow yourself time to grieve and accept what has happened. Everyone experiences grief in different ways so don’t let anyone else tell you how to feel. Talk to friends and family about how you’re feeling and if you need some extra support, there are lots of bereavement support services in your local area that can help you feel less alone.  Try www.cruse.org.uk , www.griefchat.co.uk or www.thegoodgrieftrust.org.

 

If you have recently lost a loved one and would like to talk to one of our friendly, sympathetic team at Harding Evans about dealing with their estate, we have years of experience and promise to treat you with empathy and respect. Visit our website at www.hardingevans.com, email hello@hevans.com or call 01633 244233 or 029 2267 6818.

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