Ellenor #Talkingchangeslives (1920 × 480Px)
Ellenor #Talkingchangeslives (1920 × 480Px)


If someone you know has lost someone special to them, here are some things to remember, and ways in which you can show your support:

  • Even if you say “I’m always here if you want to talk”, remember that although they might need to talk, they might be scared of being a ‘burden’ – even if you would not feel burdened. This is why grief often seems so silent, and so hidden. It’s good to offer, but even better to back it up with an action.
  • This action could be something practical – like taking them a home-cooked meal or ordering a takeaway to their door (sometimes, when we feel low, the thought of cooking a dinner can feel exhausting and like too much effort); It could be doing something they’ve been putting off or taking some weight off their shoulders by doing something on their to-do list, without expectation for anything in return; or the action could include something kind like making a gift bag full of thoughtful things, such as candles, photographs of memories you have shared together, or putting together tiny book filled with reasons why you love and/or appreciate them – even when they might have distanced themselves. You can also include a piece of paper with your telephone number on it, to remind them that you’re always there for a phone call – or a gift card for a movie and their favourite snack.
  • Whatever you decide to do, it is important to show them you know them, and that you care – with no strings, and no expectations attached. Let them know that you aren’t asking for anything in return, so they don’t feel pressured – you just want them to know that you’re there.
  • You might mean well when you say “it will all get better in time”, or “you’ll get there”, or “you’ll feel much better after spending time with everyone, just think positive!”. However, these comments can leave people feeling unheard and invalidated if this doesn’t match up to how they really feel. They might feel irritable, angry, sad, distant… let them know that it is safe for them to feel exactly how they feel, and you accept them as they are, so they don’t feel pressured into ‘putting on a face’ – putting on a face only makes people feel more isolated.
  • If you want someone to feel safe talking to you and opening up, accept what they say without judgement. Don’t try to change it, paper over it, or ‘put a plaster’ on it. Likewise, never simply assume that you understand what they are feeling, what they need, or what you think will be good for them – ask them. Let them tell you their way. And if they don’t know either, then that is okay. Let them just ‘be’, without trying to find a solution or trying to ‘fix’.
  • Remember that – even if years have passed, and they ‘seem fine’ – they will still be remembering their loved ones at this time. Just acknowledging that you remember, too, can mean the world to people.


Catherine Aird

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Counselling and Emotional Support | What we offer

We provide hospice care and support to patients and families facing life-limiting illnesses.


Breavement Info Box

A satisfying cuppa in a safe, supportive space: how friendship can ease the burden of bereavement

When Michael’s wife Eileen died two and a half years ago, his world collapsed.



If you – or anyone you know – would like to speak to our Counselling Team, please contact our Clinical Administrative team on 01474 320007 for more details.

Alternatively, browse the list below for more information around how you can access the different support services we have to offer.

However you're feeling, whatever you're going through, and whichever special person you've lost, we’re here for you.

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ellenor's Bereavement Support Groups

Bereavement Cuppas, Walk and Talk, and Carer's Cuppas available at either ellenor's building or Swanley or Dartford.


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Hub of Hope

If you would like to access any additional support external to ellenor, please visit the Hub of Hope website, the UK’s leading mental health support database.


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Live Well Kent

If you or a loved one are in urgent need of mental health support please visit the Live Well Kent, who provide free mental health support for people aged 17+.



NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

If you are in emotional distress and need urgent support, please contact:

• Single Point of Access (SPA) 0800 783 9111
• Referral line for NHS Mental Health Services 24/7



Mental Health Matters

If you or a loved one need immediate support, please call the Mental Health Matters 24/7 helpline – 0800 107 0160.