Coping with the death of a loved one.

The death of someone close to you can feel overwhelming. People can have many different sorts of feelings and reactions.

Typical responses include shock, denial, numbness, anger and even relief.  Some people even suffer physical symptoms such as a lack of sleep, a decrease or increase in appetite, headaches, a lack of energy and picking up bugs and illnesses.

But there is no wrong or right way to grieve. Your experience may be different, and it is ok to have these feelings.

During such times, it can be helpful to find people and places that can support you emotionally with your grief, as well as help you deal with the practicalities.

How to access bereavement support

  • If you attend a CHD Clinic, ask your specialist nurse if there are any emotional support services based at the hospital
  • Many local authorities have a Bereavement Counselling Service. Your local library should have the details
  • Cruse Bereavement Care promotes the well-being of bereaved people and helps them to understand their grief and cope with their loss. Services are free and there are groups across the country
  • Hope Again supports young people and offers a place to share feelings of loss and grief
  • Child Bereavement Trust provides specialised support, information and training to all those affected when a baby or child dies, or when a child is bereaved
  • Bereavement Advice Centre offers advice on the practicalities of dealing with a death
  • The British Heart Foundation has a booklet ‘Losing Someone to Heart Disease‘ that you can download from its website
  • The Rosie Crane Trust supports parents through their grief after the loss of a son or daughter of any age

LGBT Switchboard provides a listening ear and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.

Donate in memory

Create a personal tribute page in memory of a loved one that friends and family can donate to. If you don’t want to create a tribute page, you can still make a donation to The Somerville Foundation in their memory.

One in five people experience depression at some time in their lives.

Find out how to deal with low mood and depression and access some self-help strategies.

How to improve your emotional health

  • Get regular exercise as prescribed by your CHD specialist, cardiologist or GP
  • Breathe deeply. Meditative, deep breathing is calming and relieves stress; especially if you do it regularly
  • Take time for yourself to help reduce and manage stress
  • Get together with friends. There is no substitute for being with people you love
  • Try volunteering or joining a local group of people with similar interests to you.

With your help, we’ve helped fund new and improved treatments for congenital heart disease. we opened the UK’s first dedicated Congenital Heart Research Centre. we’ve organised receptions at the House of Lords and House of Commons, a film première, concerts, parachute jumps, marathon runs, annual sponsored walks and masquerade balls. we ensure that adult CHD patients enjoy access to every opportunity, are free from discrimination, and are fully supported throughout their lives. we’ve staged annual conferences, regional patient information days and workshops throughout the UK. we’ve published a range of leaflets for CHD patients on a wide-range of topics. we’ve launched a Freephone patient helpline to provide practical advice, a listening ear, and emotional reassurance at times of stress. we’ve created online networks where congenital heart patients can connect with each other. we successfully applied for a Comic Relief grant to help develop mental health support services. we’ve contributed to adult congenital heart disease nurse training days and taken part in various study days and conferences for medical and health professionals. we’ve established a benevolent fund for members who are in financial hardship. we’ve organised residential weekends and outward bound holidays for teenagers and adults, providing congenital heart patients with the opportunity to meet and gain support from each other.

Just think what else we could do if you donate, fundraise or volunteer for us.