If someone close to you has died, this experience is unique to you. You may have heard about stages of grief, but it’s different for us all. I think it is important not to think of a death as something to ‘get over’, but to find a way to carry on living while loved ones remain part of us. I find it helpful to think of continuing bonds with loved ones who have died. But I’m also aware that those bonds can be complicated, depending on the relationship.

If your feelings are getting in the way of living, you may be caught up in your grief and need help to process your loss so that you can live more fully. You may just be in so much pain that it helps to express that with another person.

There is no right or wrong time to seek help with bereavement, but often it can be after a few months or the first year, when others don’t remember the anniversary and give you the impression that it’s time you pulled yourself together and got on with life. It may be many years later.

My bereavement work is not just about loss through death. Sometimes life events can be a loss. It could be the loss of an imagined future when a relationship ends, when an accident means you have to leave a job you love, or the sadness you feel when your children have grown up. These are all losses.