Response #
Person who died
Past experience of grief
Respondent details
55-64 | Female | British
Q1: What was the nature of your relationship with the person who died?
My Close friend
Q2: How has the person’s death affected you during the hours, days, and weeks that followed?
Although expected at some point it was very sudden in the end. It was not a surprise to me but other friends and her own immediate family were not expecting it to happen so suddenly and so quickly. The death itself was very traumatic for her family (husband and children) who were with her when she died mainly because of the speed with which it happened. My first concern was for her husband and children to whom we are close. It took me some time to think about how it affected me. Overall I was just very sad and I miss her.
Q3: How, if at all, have your relationships with other people (particular individuals and other people in general) been affected by the bereavement?
It made my relationship with her husband both closer and more difficult. He wanted to talk about her a lot and still does but it can be hard when we do. I don’t think it has affected my relationships with other people much except one mutual female friend with whom I sometimes discuss her.
Q4: Does the surrounding world seem any different to you while grieving? If so, how?
I lost two close friends, a mother in law and a brother over a couple of years. It was a very odd time. It has definitely made me aware of the need to ‘seize the day’ but it has also made me more accepting of the idea of death. Whereas I used to think, subconsciously at least, that it was unlikely to happen, now I know it will and I am ok with that. I am grateful for my health and that of the people around me. I try not to put off doing important things.
Q5: Has your experience of time changed in any way?
No not really.
Q6: Has your body felt any different during grief?
I remember being very tired.
Q7: Has grief interfered in any way with your ability and motivation to perform various tasks, including paid work?
Yes. From time to time. It would hit me unexpectedly completely out of the blue. It did not interfere in a major way however.
Q8: Is your experience of grief changing over time? If so, how?
Yes. I do not get the moments of terrible sadness very often these days. I still miss her but I have very good memories.
Q9: Have you ever found yourself looking for the person who died or expecting that person to appear?
Yes. A bit of me still feels like she is still alive and I am still very aware of her presence when I go to her house or I am with my partner and her partner and the other couple we used to do a lot with. I always half expect her to turn up.
Q10: Are there times, places, and occasions that have made you especially aware of the person’s absence?
Yes. In her house or when I am with that group of friends
Q11: People who are grieving often report experiencing the presence of the person who died. Have you had any experiences that you would describe in those terms?
Q12: Do you still feel a sense of connection with the person? If so, could you say something about when you feel this and what the experience is like?
I remember conversations with her and times we spent together. She was a very intelligent and thoughtful person and unusually challenging in conversation. I sometime think ‘what would T say if she were here? Would she challenge what I just said?’
Q13: Since the person died, is there anything that you have been doing in order to feel close to them?
No except for spending time with her husband but I feel that is more for him than for me. But maybe it is for me too. Had not really thought of that til now!
Q14: Is there anything that you do in order to avoid being reminded of the person or of their death?
No. But I do feel I have to ‘put it away’ when it suddenly hits me if I am not in the right situation
Q15: Has anything in particular helped you to cope with grief? Has anything made you feel better or worse?
Spending time on my own was important and keeping myself occupied. As stated above I lost several people over a short period and I started to do more walking and running at that time which I found helpful.
Q16: How understanding have other people been? Have others said or done anything that you've found especially helpful or unhelpful?
People were very supportive. I kept pretty quiet about it on the whole but when I did want to talk about it people listened and we had good conversations about it.
Q17: How, if at all, has your experience of bereavement changed you as a person?
I think I am a bit more appreciative of the good things in life. It has also made me wonder if I should make some changes in my own life because maybe I am wasting my valuable time. I think about where I am going much more than I used to. But maybe that’s to do with generally getting older.
Q18: How, if at all, does grief over the death of a person differ from other forms of loss that you have experienced?
It’s quite similar really. It’s a shock and you feel bowled over by it but then you find a way through and you start to adjust and recover your equilibrium and a new perspective which makes it slightly easier to deal with the next time it happens.
Q19: Are there any aspects of grief that you find particularly puzzling or difficult to put into words?
I don’t understand why suddenly it hits you really hard and in an almost visceral way completely out of the blue sometimes and I feel incredibly sad and then I feel fine about it again.
Q20: Are there any important aspects of your experience that we have not addressed?
Not that I can think of.