Patients with palliative and end of life needs may have worries about what will happen in the future when they are gone, or there may be important emotional matters they want to address when time is short. Providing supportive information before and in the time leading up to the end of life for a person and after a death for their family is extremely important.
There are a number of organisations to help people with practical and emotional support to help through the stages of dying, death and bereavement of a loved one.
On the death of a loved one family and friends may need information and support to deal with practical and emotional issues during their bereavement.
Talking to children about death
At some time or other, all those who care for children will be faced with questions about dying. Children deserve honest answers, but as adults, we get worried about saying the wrong thing and often do not address the issue.
Bereavement booklets and leaflets
The Trust can provide practical information which may be useful to you in the days ahead. This includes helpful information on living and coping with bereavement and a list of relevant support agencies.
When someone close to you dies, you may benefit from counselling from a specialist bereavement counsellor. The Northern Trust works with Cruse Bereavement Care to offer palliative patients and their carers’ face-to-face, group, phone, email and online counselling support.
T: 028 9079 2419 www.cruse.org.uk
When your child has died
The Northern Trust has produced a booklet which contains information about grief and some of the feelings that parents may experience following their child’s death. There is also an annual ‘Snowdrop walk’ which gives families the opportunity to plant snowdrop bulbs in memory of their baby or child. See Bereavement Services.
Other support organisations
The Way Foundation
The Way Foundation provides a self-help social and support network for men and women widowed up to the age of 50, and their children. The main aim is to help those widowed young to rebuild their lives by helping one another. There are groups running around the country. For more information, please visit the Way Foundation website www.widowedandyoung.org.uk.
Age NI provides information on what happens when someone dies, how to arrange a funeral, financial help, organ donation, useful addresses and suggestions for further reading. www.ageuk.org.uk/northern-ireland
The NI Direct website has a checklist of what to consider when someone close dies. To help you, NI Direct offers a simple checklist to guide you through the process. You can also get a copy of this checklist from a registrar or a Northern Trust social worker.
Local charities also offer bereavement counselling, please contact the Macmillan Information and Support Manager on 028 9442 4000 ext. 333079 or mobile 07795845435 to find out if there is a local charity near you who can help.