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Bereavement Service

Bereavement Support

The death of someone significant can be one of the most challenging and painful life experiences we face. Grief is often described as a roller coaster of emotions and it can be hard to make sense of our feelings and reactions and see a way forward after a loss.

While the support of family and friends can be invaluable, for different reasons this may not always be possible. If you have experienced the loss of someone who was being cared for by St. Michael’s Hospice services we can provide the following bereavement support:

Specialist bereavement counselling

  • Offers the opportunity to talk about your loss in a supportive, non- judgemental and safe space

Bereavement evenings

  • Provide you with information about grief and loss and an opportunity to meet with others experiencing loss, in a caring and supportive atmosphere. It can be comforting to know that you are not alone in your feelings and being able to meet others who are facing a similar situation can be a positive step in coping with loss.

Bereavement coffee mornings

  • These are held on the last Friday of the month from 11 am to 12.30 pm.
  • They are facilitated by members of the Bereavement team and offer a welcoming and friendly space to meet and talk with others who are going through something similar to yourself. It can be reassuring to know that you are not alone in your grief and, although it can be beneficial to share your story, there is no pressure to do so. We have a quiet room in the Hospice and seating areas in our gardens if you wish to spend reflective time alone. Refreshments will be served.
  • Our aim is to help you receive support from us without becoming dependent. Some people may wish to join us early on in their bereavement and others after some time. However, as you feel stronger and manage the adjustments needed to live with your loss, so you will no longer need us.
  • These coffee mornings should be thought of as a “stepping stone” or a means to an end where you begin to adjust to living with your loss and finding new meanings in your life. We do not limit the length of time you want to attend the coffee mornings, however, we don’t aim to be a forever service – everyone’s experience of grief is different and so their needs are different.

Useful Resources

Listed below are suggested child bereavement books to help with pre-bereavement, bereavement for children and young people and adults supporting children. Note that there are also some organisations you may find supportive on our useful links page.

Pre Bereavement Readings

  • Someone I Love is Sick by Kathleen McCue, 2-6 year olds
  • What About Me : When Brothers and Sisters get sick by Allan Peterkin, 2-6 year olds
  • Gentle Willow by Joyce Mills, 2-6 year olds
  • Grandma by Jessica Shepherd, 4-7 year olds
  • My Brother and Me by Sarah Courtauld, 4-10 year olds
  • Sometimes by Rebecca Elliott, 5-8 year olds
  • As Big as it Gets by Julie Stokes, 5-10 year olds
  • The Secret C by Julie Stokes, 6-10 year olds
  • Flamingo Dream by Donna Jo Napoli, 6-11 year olds
  • Because Someone I Love has Cancer: Kids activity book by Terri Ades,  6-12 year olds
  • When Someone has a Very Serious Illness by Marge Heegaard, 7-10 year olds
  • Help me say Goodbye by Janis Silverman, 11-14 year olds
  • My Parent has Cancer and it Really Sucks by Maya & Marc Silva, 12-18 years

Post Bereavement Reading Pre-School

  • Honey Bear Died by Jennifer E Melvin
  • Always and forever by Debi Gliori and Alan Burant
  • Goodbye Mousie by Robie H Harris
  • Missing Mummy by Rebecca Cobb
  • Remembering Lucy by Sarah Helton
  • Is Daddy Coming Back in a Minute by Elke & Alex Barber
  • Fred by Posy Simmonds
  • The Sunshine Cat by Miriam Moss
  • Are you sad Little Bear by Rachel Rivett
  • Where are you? Laura Olivieri

Post Bereavement Reading 5-8 year olds

Fiction

  • Badger’s Parting Gift by Susan Varl
  • A Birthday Present for Daniel by Juliet Rothman
  • When Uncle Bob Died by Althea
  • Molly’s Rosebush by Janice Cohn
  • The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
  • The Scar by Charlotte Moundlic
  • The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
  • My Daddy is My Superhero by Michaelagh Broadbent
  • Lost in the Clouds by Tom Tinn-Disbury
  • The Copper Tree by Hilary Robinson

Non-Fiction

  • Sad isn’t Bad by Michaelene Mundy
  • What on Earth do you do When Someone Dies? by Trevor Romain
  • When Your Grandparent Dies by Victoria Ryan
  • Who Moved my Cheese? For kids, An A-Mazing way to change and win by Spencer Johnson, M.D and Christian Johnson
  • When Dinosaurs Die (a guide to understanding) by Laurie Krasnyed
  • Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine by Diana Crossley
  • The Elephant in the Room by Amanda Edwards & Leslie Ponciano
  • Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining death to young children by Doris Stickney
  • I Have a Question About… Death (5-11 years) by Arlen Grad Gouries and Meredith Englander Polsky. A book for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other special needs

Post Bereavement Reading 9-12 year olds

Fiction

  • Milly’s Bug Nut by Jill Janney
  • Her Mother’s Face by Roddy Doyle
  • The Frog Ballet by Amanda McCardie

Non-Fiction

  • Death (Talking About) by Karen Bryant-Mole
  • Lifetimes: A beautiful way to explain death to children by Bryan Mellonie
  • When Someone very Special Dies by Marge Heegaard
  • Children also Grieve by Linda Goldman
  • Love Will Never Die: helping a child through bereavement by Clare Shaw

Post Bereavement Reading 11-18 year olds

Fiction

  • My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
  • The Charlie Barber Treatment by Carole Lloyd
  • The Lost Boy’s Appreciation Society by Alan Gibbons
  • Two Weeks with the Queen by Morris Gleitzman
  • Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson

Non-Fiction

  • You Just Don’t Understand: Supporting Bereaved Teenagers by Winston’s Wish
  • Straight Talk about Death for Teenagers by Earl Groltman
  • The Grieving Teen: A Guide for Teenagers and their Friends by Helen Fitzgerald
  • When a Friend Dies by Marilyn Gootman
  • Healing Your Grieving Heart for Teens by Alan Wolfelt

Books for Adults Supporting Children

  • How do People with Autism Grieve and How to Help: An insider handbook by Deborah Lipsky
  • Grief in Children: a Handbook for Adults by Atle Dyregov, 2008
  • The Grieving Child: A Parents Guide by Helen Fitzgerald. Help in understanding death from a child’s perspective.
  • Communicating with Children When a Parent is at the End of Life by Rachel Fearnley. Guidance on the importance of sensitive and clear information when a family member is terminally ill.

Further Information

If you feel you would benefit from specialist bereavement counselling or are interested in attending one of our Bereavement Evenings or Coffee Mornings, please contact the Family Support Team on 01256 848892 or email family.support@stmichaelshospice.org.uk