Resources for the Bereaved
Ask for help
Not very many people have experienced what you are going through and while friends try to help, it is important to find help from those who understand your journey. Cruse Scotland is an organisation that offers counselling and support groups. You might need a close friend or relative to advocate for you.
When you have experienced such a loss, the last thing you want to do is plan your finances, however, it is important that you do. Ask a trusted friend or relative to help. Make an appointment with Citizen’s advice. In some circumstances, you can also receive financial support towards funeral costs, even months after the funeral. If you think you now need benefits, Money Matters can help. Also, if you call Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 to apply for ADP, they’ll take your details and you can ask to make an appt for someone from the Local Delivery Team to come out and help you. They will also do it by videophone or telephone.
Decide what YOU need.
Take time to think about what you need and don’t be afraid to set boundaries. Let people know how they can help but also ensure you protect time for YOU. Ensure you have time with people you love but also time alone to process what you are going through and also for your support groups. it is OK, for a while, to say no to people and avoid anyone who might be draining.
Cherish yourself. Take time to exercise if you are well enough, spend time in nature. Eat healthily, even if you don’t feel like cooking. Accept practical help from people so you can use your time on healing; they will feel better and so will you! Explore the resources on the Vaccine Injured page on nurturing your nervous system.
Sleep disturbances are normal when we are experiencing trauma, loss and stress. The NHS has a great audio guide to help. Meditation, relaxation techniques, massage, and good sleep hygiene are all important too. Avoid electronic devices a couple of hours before sleep time. Your bedroom is for sleep and relaxation only – no work or devices! Before bed, turn off all bright and blue lights and light candles. Have a warm (not hot) bath. Go to bed every night at the same time and get up each day at the same time. When you wake up, get outside in sunlight immediately, or stand or sit at a window for a few minutes. You can read more here.
It’s ok to not be ok just now, and eventually you will start to feel better. Try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor. If you need more support the good news is that there are loads of organisations waiting in the wings. Cruse Bereavement offer support – you can call them on 0808 808 1677. MIND are a great resource and help you find peer support groups. If you are experiencing anxiety or low mood the NHS audio guides are helpful. Breathing Space Scotland have helplines if you just want someone to chat to. Check out the Vaccine Injury page for apps and more resources.
Twitter: @scottish_vig Facebook: (injured and bereaved only) ScottishVIG