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Questionnaire: Do You Need Bereavement Counselling?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 10 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Bereavement Counselling Grief Emotions

In the aftermath of a death it is perfectly normal to cycle through many different emotions. Feelings of sadness, frustration, anger, denial, guilt and even relief can all be typical of those who are grieving. Even when people know this, however, there are those who will not recognise when their emotions are making a major impact on their lives. Bereavement counselling can help people work through their grief, resolve any lingering conflicts and come to terms with their new lives and selves.

To help you determine if you need bereavement counselling we have put together the following questionnaire. Answer each of the 12 questions below with "yes" or "no". Total your answers and match the number of "yes" answers to the explanations at the end to find out if you need bereavement counselling.

1. Have your sleeping patterns changed considerably since the death of your loved one?
2. Has your weight changed considerably since the death of your loved one?
3. Have you experienced great or regular confusion since the death of your loved one?
4. Have you been unable to stop crying since the death of your loved one?
5. Have you been unable to concentrate since the death of your loved one?
6. Have others told you that you are not coping well since the death of your loved one?
7. Have you had suicidal thoughts since the death of your loved one?
8. Have you thought of harming yourself or others since the death of your loved one?
9. Have you been unable to make decisions since the death of your loved one?
10. Have you felt uncontrollable rage since the death of your loved one?
11. Have you experienced physical pain since the death of your loved one?
12. Have you worried about your thoughts or behaviour since the death of your loved one?

Do You Need Bereavement Counselling?

If you answered "yes" to between one and four questions then you most likely do not need bereavement counselling. It seems as though you have acknowledged your thoughts and feelings about the death of your loved one, and that you are working through them in healthy ways. If you don't agree, however, or you feel that you would still like the support of others or the chance to speak with someone non judgemental, then you might want to investigate individual or group bereavement counselling anyway. If you've ever had suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself or others as related to your grief then you should seek professional help immediately.

Yes to 5 -8

If you answered "yes" to between five and eight questions then you might need bereavement counselling. It is very easy for grief to spiral out of control or take over your life, and bereavement counselling could help you better understand your emotions and what you can do to work through them and eventually overcome them. Bereavement counselling can also be a great, safe place for you to discuss your loved one, his or her death, the role (s)he played in your life and how you would like your life to take shape in the future - both the positive and negative aspects of all. It may not seem like your life has been impacted greatly yet, but attending bereavement counselling could keep it from being impacted irreversibly in the future. Please seek help immediately if you feel that you are a danger to yourself or others.

Yes to 9 or more

If you answered "yes" to nine or more questions then you most likely need bereavement counselling. You have obviously experienced great changes in your life due to your grief, many of which may keep you from enjoying full physical or emotional health. Your days, and possibly your night as well, seem to be dominated by the loss of your loved one. In order to better move forward, to work through your grief and put together plans for your future, bereavement counselling can be an important first step. If you believe that your physical health or safety is in danger then don't delay in seeking out bereavement counselling services. Cruse Bereavement Care and the British Association of Counselling are both excellent starting points for finding a bereavement counsellor or support group.

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[Add a Comment]
Please help me. The sudden death with myself there of my beautiful daughter who was 15 years old has left me just existing not living. ..it was nearly 20 years ago however the devastating unbelievable loss to myself is just to unbearable. The physical and mental pain of getting through the day and night really is not livable. I still have not been able to say her name only write it down. I live for my other beautiful daughter who is still suffering a ten year illness and I live in fear of losing her to.
Suzy - 10-Feb-18 @ 11:14 PM
Grief is born from love. I miss my mum so much every day is painful without her. Grief is tough as the more you loved the more you will grieve. I often talk to mum in my imagination. I love her so much. Grief is a journey and a hard one.
Sharongh - 6-Feb-18 @ 8:16 AM
My mum passed away in 2012. She had a shirt I’ll ess diagnosed in June and passsed in the October. I still feel angry and lonely as we were so close. I have my own family so I am occupied but feel I just can’t come to terms with her death. I miss her so much. I get very down and sometimes just have to go to bed to sleep
Susie - 25-Jan-18 @ 12:49 PM
Bert's Mum - Your Question:
My cousin with whom Id grown up like brother and sister committed suicide 18 years ago when we were 24 years old. He left notes and apologies as he hung himself from a tree by a traintrack and knew the transport police would need to attend. It was not a cry for help, he wanted to leave. I had lots of dreams about him in the months after his death, where I dug him up from his grave and wrapped him up and took him home with me. 18 years on and I still cannot get a handle on myself when 'that song' that was number one in the charts at the time comes on, his anniversary comes around 5th August or anything can set me off. I didnt have any counselling at the time and my heart is till shattered.

Our Response:
It's never too late to consider counselling and the effects of trauma can last a lifetime if you don't seek help, please do.
FacingBereavement - 16-Jan-18 @ 2:38 PM
My cousin with whom Id grown up like brother and sister committed suicide 18 years ago when we were 24 years old. He left notes and apologies as he hung himself from a tree by a traintrack and knew the transport police would need to attend. It was not a cry for help, he wanted to leave. I had lots of dreams about him in the months after his death,where I dug him up from his grave and wrapped him up and took him home with me.. 18 years on and i still cannot get a handle on myself when 'that song' that was number one in the charts at the time comes on, his anniversary comes around 5th August or anything can set me off. I didnt have any counselling at the time and my heart is till shattered.
Bert's Mum - 13-Jan-18 @ 9:29 PM
Juliemay - Your Question:
My grandfather died this time last year. He had brought me up and I was his main carer in later life. He lived next door to me and was my best friend. I was holding his hand when he died. Even now I can’t stop crying. I keep thinking of things I need to tell him and then remembering he isn’t there any more. His house is now sold and I just can’t bear living here without him. I can’t be bothered to wash or clean or go to work. I don’t want to get up or go out. I can’t see the point any more.

Our Response:
This is aperfectly normal stage of grieving but you need to seek help to stop yourself seeking into a severe depression. Please see the responses to other comments below for some useful places to try, but your local Citizens' Advice will be able to direct you to counsellors, local support groups etc.
FacingBereavement - 5-Jan-18 @ 12:57 PM
My grandfather died this time last year. He had brought me up and I was his main carer in later life. He lived next door to me and was my best friend. I was holding his hand when he died. Even now I can’t stop crying. I keep thinking of things I need to tell him and then remembering he isn’t there any more. His house is now sold and I just can’t bear living here without him. I can’t be bothered to wash or clean or go to work. I don’t want to get up or go out. I can’t see the point any more.
Juliemay - 3-Jan-18 @ 9:31 AM
my husband passed away on the 16th November this yearsuddenley 6 days after been told he had terminal cancer and i can't deal with it. My hearts broken and i've lost my soul mate weve only been married 6yrs can't think of life without him by my side we did everything together
sarlou - 28-Dec-17 @ 1:26 AM
Jon - Your Question:
My father passed away 18 years today, not a day had gone by when I have not cried, become angry, got drunk, I have just lost my third wife through all this. Is it time I put me and all those around me out of mine and their misery. I am facing jail for assaulting my wife who had just left me. I don’t know what to do

Our Response:
Have you tried counselling for this? Both the grief and the anger? It really might help. Please see your GP who will be able to recommend something for you.
FacingBereavement - 18-Dec-17 @ 10:00 AM
My father passed away 18 years today, not a day had gone by when I have not cried, become angry, got drunk, I have just lost my third wife through all this. Is it time I put me and all those around me out of mine and their misery. I am facing jail for assaulting my wife who had just left me. I don’t know what to do
Jon - 15-Dec-17 @ 1:07 AM
Suzy - Your Question:
My dad passed away on the 5th of August 2017 to oesophegus cancer. I was his only child and my heart is broken.when they told us it was terminal no treatment and then to give him 2/3 weeks too a month tops to live. He lived 28 days. He said to me It is what it is, you loose your parents. You've got your family, times a great healer. I missed my dads passing by a few minutes. I wish id been there when he passed away, feelings of guilt and im not coping very well.christmas day is going to be hard as he always came for christmas day. He said will you put a plate out for me on christmas day to remember me by. I miss him my heart is broken x

Our Response:
Your reaction is perfectly natural and it's still very early days. It will take a long time before the pain will ease. Please try and remember your father's words and try to celebrate the good times you had with him at Christmas. Bereavement counselling certainly might help you as would talking to any local bereavement support groups or charities. Take care of yourself and your other family this Christmas. Maybe take some time to make some plans for a family event in 2018 that will commemorate your dad in some way.
FacingBereavement - 12-Dec-17 @ 2:41 PM
My dad passed away on the 5th of August 2017 to oesophegus cancer. I was his only child and my heart is broken.when they told us it was terminal no treatment and then to give him 2/3 weeks too a month tops to live. He lived 28 days. He said to me It is what it is, you loose your parents. You've got your family, times a great healer. I missed my dads passing by a few minutes. I wish id been there when he passed away, feelings of guilt and im not coping very well.christmas day is going to be hard as he always came for christmas day. He said will you put a plate out for me on christmas day to remember me by. I miss him my heart is broken x
Suzy - 11-Dec-17 @ 2:40 AM
I lost my grandma to cancer almost 7 months ago. I was very very close to her and she was a huge part of my life. I’ve been attending counselling to help deal with the loss since May, but with no real progress. I’m now on antidepressants after being referred to the doctor and have had to take a gap year from my studies. My counsellor is trying to help me to accept reality as I’m still in constant denial, but I feel as though I don’t want to accept it, I don’t want it to be real. She says that maybe I’m not ready, but I feel if I don’t get her help now then I’ll never be better, and I don’t have time to wait, but I also don’t feel ready to accept the loss. I don’t know what to do.
My Number - 29-Nov-17 @ 3:46 AM
Hi. My mum got diagnosed sept 12th 2016 Acute myeloid leukaemia passed away 10th July 2017..im heart broken. I get so angry, I seem to find everyday a struggle. Me and mum went everywhere together the way this disease took her. How ive managed to stay working and cope with the stresses and the way I get spoken to at work I'm getting defensive. I feel i need bereavement counselling. Help.
Jac - 22-Nov-17 @ 8:24 PM
Annaboys3 - Your Question:
My mom passed away February 22nd of this year the same day I gave birth to my daughter I feel like she did wait for me to make sure we was ok but I feel so guilty for having my daughter the same day but I know she would of probably of hanged on till I did give birth it's all still raw and now my daughter is babbling and saying Nanna it makes me cry my mom passed away from sepsis through a water infection it all happened so quick she had been ill for a while but cus I was heavily pregnant I feel guilty not seeing her has much as I should of I've put on loads of weight and it's getting to a point I don't wanna go out and see people in case they look at me and pull faces

Our Response:
Guilt is a natural stage of grieving, so please don't worry about these feelings. You have had so much to cope with, losing your mother and having a new baby...theses are both major events in your life. You do need to talk to someone about this, if you become more depressed it will have an adverse effect on your daughter and family. Counselling or support from local bereavement support groups, should really help. Take it slowly, don't worry about what people think about you, just do what you know is best for your and your daughter.
FacingBereavement - 17-Nov-17 @ 10:48 AM
My mom passed away February 22nd of this year the same day I gave birth to my daughter i feel like she did wait for me to make sure we was ok but I feel so guilty for having my daughter the same day but I know she would of probably of hanged on till I did give birth it's all still raw and now my daughter is babbling and saying Nanna it makes me cry my mom passed away from sepsis through a water infection it all happened so quick she had been ill for a while but cus I was heavily pregnant I feel guilty not seeing her has much as I should of I've put on loads of weight and it's getting to a point I don't wanna go out and see people in case they look at me and pull faces
Annaboys3 - 16-Nov-17 @ 2:54 AM
Caz - Your Question:
My husband died 6 months ago. Shortly before he passed, we had separated. This was a decision that haunts me. He had copd, emphysema and was on oxygen. A lot of this was due to his addiction to heroin. We had been married for 27 years and everything was fine until 1996 when he became addicted to heroin. I stood by him through it all because I loved him and he was Father to our 2 children. However he started a methadone programme in 2000 and I thought this would be the end to raids on our house and all the other problems associated with his addictions. However he started to lie constantly and I was constantly found proof that he was still taking heroin. So last year, despite the fact that he was very Ill, I asked him to leave the family home. I had suffered a stroke in December 2015 and it had all become too much for me.My daughter and son had left home and I thought this was the only thing I could do.We still loved each other and the day he died I was with him. It was very traumatic and paramedics worked on him for what seemed like an eternity. It wasn't until 2 months ago, after an inquest that his death was 'drug related.I am so full of guilt, although he lied constantly I still loved him. I forgave him for the way he chose to die but can't get over it. He died on Sunday April 2nd and I still feel so guilty that I asked him to leave.

Our Response:
Please do seek help through counselling or support groups. Your husband was an addict and you as a non-addict could not control this, so don't allow guilt, (while a natural part of the grieving process) to consume you.
FacingBereavement - 25-Oct-17 @ 12:59 PM
My dad passed away three years ago next month. It was during this time that my mother-in-law and close friend also passed away. I feel a mess and seem consumed with all of this. My dad's passing was sudden and unexpected and I feel sick and still have feelings of disbelief at this whole situation. I still picture the day we found out, hospital visit, funeral etc. I've neverexperienced bereavement before and feel that I'm just coasting though each day. Our lives were perfect before all of this and now it feels like hard work getting through each day. I don't know how to improve things.
Joy - 24-Oct-17 @ 6:01 PM
samh- Your Question:
I lived with my farher of 60 when he passed last November. We were incredibly close. It was an ordeal to say the least but I’ve felt as though I was making good progress got a promotion at work got a place of my own however I’ve observed a distinct and radical change in my personality. I’ve clearly gone through the conventional stages of grief I mean I was a mess every night for the first six months. I push my bedtime as far as feasibly can and I can’t seem to be the outgoing person I was before my loss I ignore all of my close friends for no good reason I shut out family and no longer feel passionate about much at all anymore. I feel empty and am convinced this is just my personality now as a product of my trauma

Our Response:
Don't feel resigned to a "personality change" as you describe it. It is a "stage" as you say in the grief process. You can get help, from counselling, therapy and local support groups. You may feel like you have no energy or desire to do so but it will help, slowly but very surely. Take tentative steps towards doing this, don't expect overnight success. Talk gradually to your friends and family but be gentle with yourself. Take care and let us know how you get on.
FacingBereavement - 24-Oct-17 @ 2:36 PM
My husband died 6 months ago. Shortly before he passed, we had separated. This was a decision that haunts me. He had copd, emphysema and was on oxygen. A lot of this was due to his addiction to heroin. We had been married for 27 years and everything was fine until 1996 when he became addicted to heroin. I stood by him through it all because I loved him and he was Father to our 2 children. However he started a methadone programme in 2000 and I thought this would be the end to raids on our house and all the other problems associated with his addictions. However he started to lie constantly and I was constantly found proof that he was still taking heroin. So last year, despite the fact that he was very Ill, I asked him to leave the family home. I had suffered a stroke in December 2015 and it had all become too much for me. My daughter and son had left home and I thought this was the only thing I could do. We still loved each other and the day he died I was with him. It was very traumatic and paramedics worked on him for what seemed like an eternity. It wasn't until 2 months ago, after an inquest that his death was 'drug related. I am so full of guilt, although he lied constantly I still loved him. I forgave him for the way he chose to die but can't get over it. He died on Sunday April 2nd and I still feel so guilty that I asked him to leave.
Caz - 23-Oct-17 @ 9:01 AM
I lived with my farher of 60 when he passed last November. We were incredibly close. It was an ordeal to say the least but I’ve felt as though I was making good progress got a promotion at work got a place of my own however I’ve observed a distinct and radical change in my personality. I’ve clearly gone through the conventional stages of grief I mean I was a mess every night for the first six months. I push my bedtime as far as feasibly can and I can’t seem to be the outgoing person I was before my loss I ignore all of my close friends for no good reason I shut out family and no longer feel passionate about much at all anymore. I feel empty and am convinced this is just my personality now as a product of my trauma
samh - 22-Oct-17 @ 3:22 AM
Tina - Your Question:
I lost my husband of 40 years a year and a half ago. I feel totally lost without him. I still have his cloths and things I can't get rid of anything I have it in my head he is coming home I find it easier not to think of him so I carry on with life pretending to every onethat I'm ok I have locked him away in my heart sometimes I do open my heart but it hurts so much. I work 1o hours a day to keep me busy. I hate weekends. I have a big family and they are amazing.but I can be in a room full of them but still feel lonely.

Our Response:
40 years is an incredibly long time to be with someone, we can understand how much it must hurt. Please do try and open up, keeping it locked away will only mean permanent pain for you. Look for local bereavement support groups and charities that you can turn to if you don't feel ready to open to your loved ones.
FacingBereavement - 16-Oct-17 @ 12:39 PM
I lost my husband of 40 years a year and a half ago. I feel totally lost without him . I still have his cloths and things I can't get rid of anything I have it in my head he is coming home I find it easier not to think of him so I carry on with life pretending to every onethat I'm ok I have locked him away in my heartsometimes I do open my heart but it hurts so much . I work 1o hours a day to keep me busy . I hate weekends .I have a big family and they are amazing.but I can be in a room full of thembut still feel lonely ...
Tina - 13-Oct-17 @ 10:34 PM
Foamy - Your Question:
My husband died last year,I was already suffering from depression so when this happened,the bottom just fell out of my world,we had been married for fourty five years and know that he has so gone I just don't know what to do with myself.people expect me to be the same as I was, but I can't I feel like a big part of me has died and I don't think I will ever be the same person that I was,I feel crushed.

Our Response:
Please do try and seek help from local support groups or a counsellor etc. The list of organisations below in the response to @Ladyejo are all very good places to try. We're sure noone expects you to be the same, but they probably do all want you to be happy again at some point in your life, even if it's not happy in the way you were when your husband was alive.
FacingBereavement - 26-Sep-17 @ 12:23 PM
My husband died last year,I was already suffering from depression so when this happened,the bottom just fell out of my world,we had been married for fourty five years and know that he has so gone I just don't know what to do with myself.people expect me to be the same as I was, but I can't I feel like a big part of me has died and I don't think i will ever be the same person that I was,I feel crushed.
Foamy - 24-Sep-17 @ 3:55 PM
I'm Jamie i lost my fiancé to suicide on the 16th August. She had mental health issues of Borderline personality disorder unfortunately i have ADHD so we argued a lot. Anyway due to the arguments between us she would rage and hurt me with words and violence and i would act in self defence and have to push her away from me unless i was able to get out in one piece i would have to go to parents houses.This always happened after she drank at night in the day she was the most loving,caring,compassionate woman who loved me dearly never meetanother like her.
Jamiew - 11-Sep-17 @ 9:21 PM
Ladyejo - Your Question:
I lost my husband, best friend and soul mate 18 weeks ago. Raymond found out he had cancer on the 16th March and 6 weeks later on the 1st May he passed away.I am totally heartbroken. I'm at a loss. We were married for 34 happy years.He was buried as he wished but I cant stop thinking of him in the dark. All alone. Does he think ive abandoned him. I miss him so much.

Our Response:
Please try not to project any guilt or blame on yourself; you have not abandoned anyone. As we've said to other readers, it will really help if you talk to someone - a counsellor or local support group about this. You can find various contacts such as:
This directory of bereavement counsellors
Grief Encounter
Way Out
The Loss Foundation
Age UK
Cruse Bereavement Charity
FacingBereavement - 6-Sep-17 @ 1:57 PM
I lost my husband, best friend and soul mate 18 weeks ago. Raymond found out he had cancer on the 16th March and 6 weeks later on the 1st May he passed away. I am totally heartbroken. I'm at a loss. We were married for 34 happy years. He was buried as he wished but I cant stop thinking of him in the dark. All alone. Does he think ive abandoned him. I miss him so much.
Ladyejo - 4-Sep-17 @ 8:42 PM
I lost my mum 7weeks a go I miss her so much not many days go by I don't cry can be on a bus when I'm ironing any time I don'tsleepat work I want to scream at customers when they moan about a faulty toaster .my whole life has changed I don't know how to sort it
Scottie - 31-Aug-17 @ 3:35 AM
I lost my eldest sister 3 weeks ago. She was 62 and passed away following a short battle with lung cancer. I am 54. I also lost my dad 4 years ago to cancer. Losing my sister has been a huge shock and we are devastated. I was very close to my sister, as am to my other sister, who is 61. How can I get through the grieving process?
Ang - 23-Aug-17 @ 10:43 PM
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