The first week of December is National Grief Awareness Week, which aims to try to normalise grief and to get the public talking about loss and bereavement, breaking the taboo and making it an easier subject to raise. The hope is that this will enable us to better support each other by providing guidance on what to say and how to help those who have lost loved ones.
The week also aims to boost the profile of the support that is available in the UK to those struggling with bereavement. The Good Grief Trust, for example, which is run by the bereaved for the bereaved, brings together around 900 charities and support services offering tailored help to those affected by grief anywhere in the UK.
Why support mattersWithout support, bereavement can lead to serious mental and physical health problems, so it’s essential to seek help and speak to someone if you’re finding grief overwhelming. If you haven’t lost someone yourself, but know someone who has been recently bereaved, do reach out or if you see them stop for a chat and say the name of the person they have lost, as they will be thinking of them anyway.
Alternatively, invite them round for tea, or go for a walk and a talk so that they can share and process some of their grief with you.
If you’re finding it difficult to manage your grief and would prefer not to discuss it with friends, neighbours or family, and you have an existing protection policy it’s worth checking to see if it comes with any support services.
Often life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection policies don’t just provide a financial payout in the event of a claim, but also often come with a range of additional benefits such as access to GP services, physiotherapy, annual health checks, counselling and bereavement support. These services are typically available to family members as well as the policyholder at no extra cost.
At L&C we have supported child bereavement charity, Winston’s Wish, for over 7 years. Every year Winston’s Wish needs to raise funds to provide practical help and support to children suffering the loss of a parent or sibling. Donations of £10k can help them support around 10 families, including up to 20 children during one of the most difficult situations they may ever have to face. With every policy we write, we make a donation to help fund this amazing charity and the life-changing work that they provide to support children through the worst of times.
You can click this link to speak to one of our expert protection advisers if you want to review your protection policies or take out cover for the first time - we can help both you and Winston’s Wish at the same time.