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Ann’s story: how St Christopher’s helped her deal with grief

Ann contacted the Bereavement Service three months after her husband died, after less than a year of caring for him. She now lives alone and has supportive neighbours and a daughter who lives nearby, but Bill was ‘her rock’ and always knew what to do.

Ann found she often felt very anxious since Bill died, finding it hard to sleep and not eating regularly and her daughter noticed Ann was losing weight.

Over the next few months, Ann met weekly with one of our bereavement volunteers. She was able to think through some of the ways that her life might be like now and how that might feel. She talked about her daughter and not wanting to worry her, but also how she wanted the family to be able to remember happier times. She talked a lot about Bill, what she had hoped for them together and how much he had meant to her. Towards the end of her support with the volunteer she planned how to manage her first Christmas without him. She also thought about what to do to remember him over the coming year especially on his birthday in the spring.

After this, Ann joined a Learning from Loss group and met other bereaved people sharing how they felt and what helps them. She came to some of the social events at our Sydenham site, particularly the choir, and then also the New Horizons self-help bereavement group – finding that some of these events really lifted her spirits.

Ann’s grief hasn’t gone away but her life has moved on enough to help her cope with sadness, and often there are times when she feels more optimistic.