Bereavement Support Services

Being able to access support following any death is critical and an important element for individuals and families to help them to deal with loss.

Being able to reference difficult personal experiences by discussing them with others in similar situations can be helpful. Connecting with experts to support our journey is useful but dependent on the individual’s needs, for example children’s needs are quite different to a spouse’s or other adults.

Research, over many decades, has concluded that humans go through several stages when faced with grief. It is important to anchor oneself in the belief that everything will be ok. Hope is an integral part of our human ability to reset and recover. Many of us find great comfort in understanding how Islam guides us in coping with loss and the journey from this life to the next and what we can do for ourselves and the ones who have gone before us. “We are tested up to the limits of what we can bear.”

Stages Of Bereavement

Grief is a natural response to losing someone you care about. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve – it’s very individual.

  1. Shock – when death is confirmed, shock is often what most people will face. At times despite knowing it was likely to happen, we still go through this phase. Some of the symptoms are feeling numb, detached and being quiet.
  2. Denial – it is not the fact we do not believe what has happened, it is often a sense of mental absence; how can someone be there one minute and gone the next? Forgetfulness, lack of sleep or motivation, inability to focus, concentrate or being indecisive.
  3. Anger – it is normal to feel angry, whether it is obvious to others or well controlled, it is present. It can come from not being able to change the outcome, not getting a chance to speak with people you are comfortable with or getting time to yourself. In some cultures, getting space to yourself can be difficult especially if you have numerous visitors wanting to be present to show support.
  4. Bargaining – wanting to make right, do things differently, making promises to take actions in return for something. Feeling helpless through feelings of the endless “what ifs”.
  5. Depression – the feeling of isolation, dread and anxiety. Ability to cope without the one they have lost.
  6. Acceptance – the realisation that the outcome is final and cannot be changed. With time, it is different for each person, we get back to a normal routine of work and social life.

Coping Mechanisms

  • Speaking with people you feel most comfortable with is a major mechanism for coping with grief and loss. At times this may be a stranger you meet, a group you join or a trained counsellor or professional. There is no one rule, apart from it is usually helpful to share.
  • Activity ranging from exercise and walking to painting, cooking and trying to stay busy with tasks.
  • Deep breathing can help manage those difficult moments and anxiety.
  • Open space like a park, walking or even sitting on a bench or in nature can be calming. A change in the environment and fresh air can bring tremendous benefits.
  • Setting goals to help you get back to a version of normality, however small but realistic.
  • Sleeping and eating well, are important to provide the body with the required nutrients to help recover and trying to sleep in long stretches to help your mind and body heal from the trauma of loss.
  • Having ready answers, to help cope with standard and regular questions from colleagues, friends and neighbours can help lessen the burden.

Organisations which offer support

Below are some organisations that can help you in this difficult time.

All information/weblinks are correct at the time of publishing in December 2022.

We hope you have found this document beneficial. If you have any suggestions for improvements, please contact us at

Safeena - Muslim Cancer Support Network

Safeena - Muslim Cancer Support Network

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