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BWClogoTHERE are few more emotionally difficult experiences to go through than the death of somebody you know, and at some point in our lives – we will all experience it.

Even if a death is expected, it can be a distressing and overwhelming experience.

The process of bereavement can be made even more complicated by the fact that there is no fixed length of time and no set pattern to the emotions you may be going through.

In order to help anyone people who are experiencing bereavement, the Bank Workers Charity has put together a number of resources that can be accessed via our website.

In our guide on understanding bereavement we explain the different emotions you may be feeling during your grieving and we provide suggestions to help you cope with your loss.

Two of the most important pieces of advice in the guide may sound conflicting.

Firstly, it may feel tempting try not to cut yourself off from others, though equally you may find yourself doing so without even realising. Accept offers of help and support from friends and relatives, even if you feel you do not need it. You do not need to cope on your own.

Conversely, it is important not to fill your days with so many tasks that you are too busy to have time to grieve. Focusing on other parts of your life, and spending time doing activities you enjoy is certainly a good thing, but to plan every aspect of your day so you have no time to think about your loss, other than when you are trying to sleep, can be exhausting and detrimental to your health.

When somebody dies, there are a great number of tasks that need to be completed. When you are affected by grief it can be hard to focus on, and understand, what needs to be done. To help with this, we have provided another resource which lists ‘practical actions when someone dies.’

As before, you should not have to undertake all these tasks singlehanded. Friends and relatives can help take some of the burden off you they are usually more than willing to help. Often, those close to you will want to help you, but may not know how.

Asking for assistance is a simple for them to help you. Our guide lists the most important actions that need to take place, such as registering a death and arranging a funeral, and gives advice on how to go about them.

Bereavement is tough for everyone that experiences it, but for children the process can be particularly overwhelming. Even if they are too young understand the concept of death, they will come to realise that the person who has died is no longer there.

In our resource on ‘supporting bereaved children’ (from infants to teenagers) we offer advice on how to provide support and understanding to a child who is bereaved. We also provide sources of further help and support that will help.

Children are capable of feeling distress and anxiety as much as adults, and require similar amounts of support. It is important however to make sure you support yourself through your loss, as well as supporting your children.

Finally, one of the most pressing matters you may have to deal with could be the one you want to think about the least. When your partner dies, it may be that you will face temporary financial difficulties whilst things are sorted. Whether expected or not this can be a very challenging time.

Our guide on ‘finances when a partner dies’ covers many of the aspects you may be facing. As well as giving tips on how to reduce your outgoings, we have also listed the benefits you may be entitled to, and how to enquire about claiming them.

Whatever your situation regarding bereavement, our guides are designed to make the process easier for you. To access them, visit our website via www.bwcharity.org.uk and search for ‘bereavement’ in the resources tab. If you do not have access to a computer, or you would prefer to speak to somebody about the assistance we can provide, please phone our helpline on 0800 0234 834.

The Retiree Support Service

Our resources and helplines are brought to you by the Retiree Support Service, which is designed to support all retired bank workers and their families by making a sustainable improvement in the quality of life of pensioners, relating to their wellbeing, financial and domestic needs.

For more information on how we can help you, please call our free and confidential helpline on 0800 0234 834.