Death and Bereavement

At some point in their lives everyone experiences the death of someone they are close to. It’s normal after experiencing a bereavement to experience grief.

People experience grief in many ways and everyone’s grief is different. Some common ways people experience grief include: 

    • Shock and Numbness 
    • Overwhelming sadness 
    • Tiredness or exhaustion 
    • Anger 
    • Guilt 

You may experience some, none, or all these feelings at some point whilst grieving.

How to survive whilst you're grieving

You may find some of these tips helpful, different things help different people 

    1. Make sure to give yourself time – every person’s grieving period is different so be kind to yourself 
    2. Talk to someone you trust – this could be a friend, relative, tutor, chaplain, or a member of the University’s Wellbeing Team. It’s okay if you talk about the same thing a few times, this is part of processing what has happened 
    3. Let your emotions out – Crying is a natural response to what has happened, but you may also feel angry or guilt. This is all part of processing. 
    4. Remembering – You may find it helpful to keep a memento of them to help keep a sense of closeness to the person, you may wish to visit places where you spent time together

How can the University Support you?

Our wellbeing team can provide you with support. They can also help talk to you about approaching your academic department to look at what academic support can be put in place for example this may be helping you to file a mitigating circumstances claim if you experience a bereavement in the exam period. 

You can speak directly to your personal tutor about your bereavement. They will be able to advise what academic support is available to you. 

We also have a chaplaincy service can help to provide a listening ear to any person (regardless of their faith or lack thereof) following a bereavement. 

We also have a bereavement café. The sessions aim to provide a safe and welcoming space for those affected by loss and bereavement and a place to share with others who have also experienced grief. People of all faiths and those of no faith are welcome to attend. This runs on every first Wednesday of the month. These sessions run 1.15pm-2.15pm in the breakout area on the first floor of EHB. 

What to do next?

Wellbeing Support

If you need Wellbeing Support following a bereavement, then please complete our Online Wellbeing Referral form.

Talk to your Personal Tutor

Consider contacting your Personal Tutor to let them know what has happened. This way someone in your department knows what has happened and can offer guidance on what help you can get in terms of academic matters.

Contact the University Chaplains

If you want to talk to someone who shares your religious belief you contact one of our University Chaplains. Their details can be found here. 

Attend our Bereavement Café

You could also look to attend our bereavement café. This runs on every first Wednesday of the month. These sessions run 1.15pm-2.15pm in the breakout area on the first floor of EHB. You are not required to book in advance, just turn up on the day.

Submit a Mitigating Circumstances Claim

If you feel that your studies have been impacted by what has happened you can submit a mitigating circumstances claim. More information about how to submit a claim and what you need to do can be found here

What should I do if I am worried about somebody else?

There is a self-help guide provided by Loughborough University on how to help people who are grieving. The below is an extract from the self-help guide which gives tips on what you should and should not do.  

Some helpful ways to support those who are grieving include  

    1. Understanding and trusting the process - remembering that grieving is a natural and healing process, which unfurls in stages and in its own time.  
    2. Being with the person - staying with and acknowledging their feelings, whatever these may be; sometimes, simply sitting with them in silence or holding their hand.  
    3. Listening - calmly, patiently, empathically, without searching for solutions.  
    4. Asking the bereaved person if they would like to talk about the one they've lost and showing interest - for example, sharing photos and anecdotes.  
    5. Knowing and accepting your own limits - allowing time and space for your own needs.  
    6. Having someone else to talk to - being able to share with another what you are going through.  
Some things you should try and avoid doing: 
    1. Wanting to cure the bereaved person.  
    2. Wanting to speed up the process.  
    3. Looking on the bright side.  
    4. Encouraging a 'stiff upper lip'. 
    5. Trying to 'jolly' them along.  
    6. Offering advice.  
    7. Avoiding the subject in case it upsets the bereaved and allowing it to become 'taboo'.  
    8. Feeling responsible.  
    9. Wanting to do too much.  
    10. Bearing the other person's grief alone. 

More Resources

Last Updated: 5th March 2024