Look after yourself and those close to you
There is no blueprint for how to handle bereavement. No timescales for grief. Bereavement can bring out strong feelings from intense anger, to numbness, exhaustion and the aching pain of loss. Some people can even feel isolated after the loss of a life partner, family member or close friend. From experience we know that it can help to share some of that journey with someone who understands loss and grief and can offer support.
If you think it would be useful for you, or anyone in your family, young or old, to talk to a bereavement counsellor, William Purves can put you in touch with trusted contacts and free resources.
Acorns Bereavement Support
Our Acorns Bereavement Support Programme offers reassurance and companionship through group support. The programme is open to anyone who is living with loss and there is no charge for attending. You can come on your own or bring someone with you – either way you are warmly welcomed.
Group support is a useful way to meet like-minded individuals and hear about the experiences of others. It is up to you how much you would like to share with the group. The main thing is there is comfort to be drawn from being with others who may share the same feelings.
How long is the programme?
Each programme consists of six sessions lasting an hour-and-a-half, beginning at 10.00am, 2.30pm or 7.30pm. Within each session there are opportunities to talk with one another as well as with individual members of the Acorns team. Please call us on 0131 510 8393
What do they cover?
- Feelings and Possibilities – exploring aspects of loss
- Common Questions and Reassurance – including health concerns
- Practicalities and Decisions – nutrition, cooking and looking after ourselves
- Money Matters – understanding financial issues
- Making Sense of Socialising – facing the world again
- Where to Next? – looking forward together
Let us put you in touch with trusted contacts
We can also put you in touch with our contacts at other national bereavement charities such as Marie Curie and Cruse Bereavement Care. Please call us on 0131 510 8393 if you’d like to find out more.
One-to-one bereavement counselling
Let us put you in touch with free bereavement support delivered by a qualified bereavement counsellor through SAIF, the Society of Allied Independent Funeral Directors. Your family will be offered up to six free counselling sessions, which can be used by one person or split between members of a family. The session can take place at a location of your choice, over the phone, or even via online chat or email if you prefer. This can be arranged within a week (subject to availability).
Support for young people
Specialist support through individual or group counselling, play and other activities designed to make a difference to the lives of bereaved young people between 4 and 18 years.
Let us put you in touch with people who can help
We can also put you in touch with our contacts at other national bereavement charities such as Marie Curie and Cruse Bereavement Care. Talk to us if you’d like to find out more.
Take it from us…
Having supported families for generations through the grieving process our best advice is to go easy on yourself.
Take the appropriate amount of time to grieve – there is no specified time frame as each loss is unique. The important thing is to be allowed to grieve.
Don’t succumb to stereotypes about loss – as sympathetic as they are, others will never know what you’re experiencing.
Don’t allow other people’s opinions or experiences to influence you about what to feel, think, or do.
Treasure keepsakes – keep pictures or personal items, perhaps even create some new ones like letters or diaries.
Take care of yourself and expect that all of your inner resources will be fully spent over and over again, over a long period of time. Be aware of your limitations while you are mourning and grieving and beyond. Don’t pressure yourself to do or be anything other than who and where you are. Don’t undertake too much. Save important decisions for a later time.
Create a support system – friends and relatives who truly understand you and what you’ve gone through; those who you know will be there for you when you need them, to listen, to be compassionate, to support and encourage you.
Allow yourself to heal – probably the hardest thing you will have to do.
When you need us most, even after the funeral, please call – there will always be someone here for you.
After the Funeral FAQs
What is the Tell Us Once Service?
It is useful to notify certain organisations when you have the death certificate, partly for security reasons and partly so they do not continue to send communications to your loved one causing you further distress. When registering the death, your registrar will give you a unique reference number to use the ‘Tell Us Once’ service. Using the deceased’s National Insurance number and date of birth, central and local Government agencies are informed of the death and can centrally update their records.
To help with this process, you may want to locate the following:
- names and addresses of their next of kin including surviving spouse or civil partner
- name and address of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money) also known as executor or administrator
- details of any benefits or entitlements they were getting including state, armed forces and international pensions
- details of any local council services they were getting, such as the Blue Badge, social care etc.
- details of any driving licences and vehicles owned
- details of any current and former passports
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with personal tax only
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to cancel or amend benefits
- Passport Office - to cancel a British passport
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a driving licence and to remove the person as the keeper for up to 5 vehicles
- the local Council - to cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, a Blue Badge, inform council housing services and remove the person from the electoral register
- public sector or armed forces pension schemes - to stop pension payments
The service will use this information to contact:
Should I ask for additional copies of the death certificate?
It is often useful to obtain additional copies of the official death certificate called a ‘Certified Extract’ as some institutions only accept originals which they may retain. Registrars will charge a fee for ‘Certified Extracts’.
Who else should I notify?
The following organisations are not included in the Tell Us Once service and you should notify them separately.
- HMRC for business tax, corporation tax or VAT related updates
- Mortgage provider
- Banks and building societies
- Premium bond, loan or other financial organisations
- Credit card, in-store cards and other loyalty programmes
- House, car, breakdown, holiday and buildings insurance providers (car insurance policies are commonly in one name so we advise you to check before driving)
- Utility companies
- TV licence, phone and broadband providers
- Education establishments if in current term
- Professional associations
- GP, hospital, dentist, optician and anyone else providing medical care: NHS and private provider
- Charities, organisations or subscriptions the deceased made regular payments to
- Libraries, children’s or adult services (meals, visits etc) or other clubs
- Church, synagogue, mosque, temple or other places of worship
- If the deceased has a licence for firearms, please contact the local police station.
How do I ask for mail to be redirected?
The Royal Mail redirection service intercepts mail addressed to the deceased and redirects it to an address of your choice. This can be arranged on a monthly, half yearly or annual basis. The Bereavement Register is also available to stop unsolicited post being sent to the deceased’s address.
What should I do about property or land owned?
If the deceased owned land or property, a different updating process is required which is typically dealt with by the executor, administrator or lawyer appointed by the deceased or next of kin. They will also deal with any Wills or Letters of Wishes with regard to the overall estate (property and belongings).