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Bereavement Support and Resources

Coping with grief and loss

We know that those who visit our crematorium will grieve in a way individual to them. Loss can be difficult to comprehend and daily life may now be different to what you recognise. It's important to seek the support that will support you and your process.

Where to find support

  • Funeral Guide - Across all cultures, one of the most difficult moments in life is when a close family member dies.
    Nothing can prepare you for the death of a spouse, sibling, parent or child. Funeral guide offer practical information, advice and bereavement support
  • Northampton General Hopsital child & adult bereavement service - They offer individual and group bereavement counselling to children and adolescents (aged 4 – 18 years)  in the Northamptonshire area.  Support is for parents, carers, school staff or any agency who are caring or working with a bereaved child or adolescent. Support is also offered to families where a member has a terminal illness. Support is available Monday - Friday 9 - 5. 
  • Direction bereavement support group - Lost a loved one? Feeling lost and alone? Meet with a small friendly Kettering based Group. It’s good to talk! We normally meet the first Monday of each month at 7.30pm. Please get in touch with Maureen for more information; 07411426033, maureenw10@hotmail.co.uk
  • Desborough St Giles Bereavement support group - Kim lends a friendly ear to those in Desborough who are struggling with the loss of a loved one. You can contact her to find out more about the group; kimrowbotham@hotmail.com, 01536 761593 
  • Compassionate friends - Compassionate Friends offer bereavement support for families after the death of a child at any age. Local contacts provide a safe environment for bereaved parents and their families to express themselves in the company of others who understand their grief. They are there if you would just like to talk, in person, by phone or by email. They can also put you in touch with other parents in your area.
  • SANDS - Sands is the leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity in the UK. Sands exists to reduce the number of babies dying and to ensure that anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the best possible care and support for as long as they need it. Sands provides bereavement support services both nationally through its Freephone helpline, mobile app, online community and resources, and locally through a UK-wide network of around 100 regional support groups.
  • Child Bereavement UK - Child Bereavement UK help children and young people (up to age 25), parents, and families, to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies.
  • The Good Grief Trust - All of us at The Good Grief Trust have lost someone we love, so we want to help you find the support you need as quickly as possible. You will find stories from others who have had a similar loss, practical and emotional support and signposting to a choice of immediate tailored local and national support on our website 
  • RipRap - RipRap is especially for teenagers who have a parent with cancer. In riprap, you can learn more about cancer and its treatment and through real stories you can read the experiences of other young people and share your own story.
  • What's your grief - Grief is a complex, heavy, frustrating, scary, enormous topic. It starts with a death and envelopes everyone from family to friends, to friends of family and friends. Not only is grief an emotional, logistical, and existential nightmare, but it is taxing. It requires us to navigate the world without someone important, deal with complex feelings and emotions, and figure out ways to move forward when everything seems kind of bleak. Whats your grief promote grief education, exploration, and expression in both practical and creative ways.
  • Sue Ryder - Sue Ryder supports people through the most difficult times of their lives. Whether that’s a terminal illness, the loss of a loved one or a neurological condition – we’re there when it matters. Currently offering free online bereavement support.
  • MENCAP - provide information on dealing with a loss, including resources about how to discuss death with a person with a learning disability.


Books available to help young children understand bereavement and death:

Badgers Parting Gift - Susan Valery ISBN - 1849395144

Badger is so old that he knows he must soon die, so he does his best to prepare his friends. When he finally passes away, they are grief-stricken, but one by one they remember the special things he taught them during his life. By sharing their memories, they realise that although Badger is no longer with them physically, he lives on through his friends. This book features a helpful reading guide from Child Bereavement UK that provides tips for reading this book with children and helping them better understand grief. This book is endorsed by Child Bereavement UK. Badger’s Parting Gifts provides young children with a means to understand grief’ CHILD BEREAVEMENT UK.

Invisible String - Partice Karst ISBN - 9780316486231 

Parents, educators, therapists, and social workers alike have declared The Invisible String the perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss, and grief. In this relatable and reassuring contemporary classic, a mother tells her two children that they're all connected by an invisible string. "That's impossible!" the children insist, but still they want to know more: "What kind of string?" The answer is the simple truth that binds us all: An Invisible String made of love. Even though you can't see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach? Does it ever go away? This heart-warming picture book for all ages explores questions about the intangible yet unbreakable connections between us and opens up deeper conversations about love.

Always and Forever - Debi Gilioro & Alan Durant ISBN - 9780552567657

When Fox dies the rest of his family are absolutely distraught. How will Mole, Otter and Hare go on without their beloved friend? But, months later, Squirrel reminds them all of how funny Fox used to be, and they realise that Fox is still there in their hearts and memories.

The Memory Tree - Britta Teckentrup ISBN - 9781848517011

A beautiful and heartfelt picture book to help children celebrate the memories left behind when a loved one dies.

Fox has lived a long and happy life in the forest, but now he is tired. He lies down in his favourite clearing and falls asleep for ever. Before long, Fox's friends begin to gather in the clearing. One by one, they tell stories of the special moments that they shared with Fox. And so, as they share their memories, a tree begins to grow, becoming bigger and stronger with each memory, sheltering and protecting all the animals in the forest, just as Fox did when he was alive.

Books for teens and young adults to understand grief

Fire In My Heart Ice In My Veins - Enid Samuel Traisman ISBN - 9781561230563

This book is a grief journal in the truest sense. It revolves around the death and includes prompts for remembering the person who died, resolving complex emotions, identifying strengths, identifying supportive people, addressing unfinished business, and thinking about the future. The pages are blank, rather than lined, allowing flexibility for writing, drawing, or collaging (though most questions and prompts seem to assume that a teen will write their response).

The Healing Your Grieving Heart Journal for Teens - Alan Wolfelt ISBN - 9781879651333

With resources for so many grief topics, Wolfelt partnered with none other than his teenage daughter for this one. This journal is extremely thorough and covers the widest range of grief challenges a teen may face, with over 100 packed pages of prompts. To squeeze in all this content, the spaces for responses are small, often with two or three prompts per page. Response areas are lined, making this a journal that is best for teens who really like to write, rather than those who prefer drawing, collaging, or other forms of expression. This journal has more explanation of grief in it than most others, making it great for teens who may wish to read about common grief symptoms and experiences.

The Grieving Teen: A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends- Helen Fitzgerald ISBN - 9780684868024

In this unique and compassionate guide, renowned grief counsellor Helen Fitzgerald turns her attention to the special needs of adolescents struggling with loss and gives teens the tools they need to work through their pain and grief. Although the circumstances surrounding a death are difficult to handle at any age, adolescence brings with it challenges and struggles that until now have been largely overlooked. Writing not only about but also for teenagers, Fitzgerald adeptly covers the entire range of situations in which teens may find themselves grieving a death, whether the cause was old age, terminal illness, school violence, or suicide. She helps teens address the gamut of strong and difficult emotions they will experience and the new situations they will face, including family changes, issues with friends, problems at school, and the courage needed to move forward with one's own life. Using the clear and accessible format that has made The Mourning Handbook and The Grieving Child enduring and helpful classics, Fitzgerald guides teens through everything from the sickbed to the funeral, from the first day back at school to the first anniversary of the death. Above all, she lets teens know that even in their darkest hour, they are not alone.

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book- Michael Rosen  ISBN - 9780763641047

The book chronicles Michael's grief at the death of his son Eddie from meningitis at the age of 19. A moving combination of sincerity and simplicity, it acknowledges that sadness is not always avoidable or reasonable and perfects the art of making complicated feelings plain. It wasn't made like any other book either; Michael Rosen said of the text, " I wrote it at a moment of extreme feeling, and it went straight down onto the page ... Quentin didn't illustrate it, he 'realized' it. He turned the text into a book and as a result showed me back to myself. No writer could ask and get more than that." And Quentin Blake says that the picture of Michael "being sad but trying to look happy" is the most difficult drawing he's ever done... "a moving experience."

The rise and fall of the 5 stages of grief

This BBC article explores the 5 stages of grief, how these have developed in modern times, and how each persons journey with grief is individual.