How compassion and experience can help you cope

Our bereavement support services are an essential part of the care we provide for those that are grieving.

Managing the feeling of grief can be profoundly difficult and often overwhelming. It can be hard to adapt to life without that person and you may be uncertain about the future.

There is not a right or a wrong way to react; everyone is different. It may not always be easy to talk to friends and family, particularly if they are dealing with their own grief. However, talking about and sharing how you feel with someone not so close to the situation can really help, and this is where we can assist.

Bereavement support to any family member, friend or carer can be provided for patient’s known to Rowans Hospice services and also other Portsmouth and South east Hampshire NHS Community Palliative Care Services.

Understanding grief

Grief can be consuming and both physically and emotionally exhausting, which is why many bereaved people will feel strained and physically run down. Our bereavement support services can help you to understand more about your grief and how to manage your feelings in a healthy way through a variety of support mechanisms.

What are some of the symptoms of grief?

Someone who is grieving may experience some, or all, of the emotional and physical experiences listed below. These symptoms may not be constant and are likely to ebb and flow over time. Many are normal, however sometimes grief gets ‘stuck’ and disrupts your life and other relationships.

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Emotional symptoms include:

  • Shock and the feeling of numbness shortly after the person’s death.
  • Sadness, with or without tearfulness.
  • Feeling empty and alone, even when you may be surrounded by people.
  • Guilt: this can be commonly linked to something you did or did not say; did or did not do, or not having the chance to say goodbye.
  • Fear: concern over your own mortality or of other people you are very close to; facing life alone; or what the future may bring.
  • Anger: Why did this happen; feeling the need to blame someone else; or getting angry and flaring up at things that wouldn’t normally upset you.

Physical effects may include:

  • Tiredness and exhaustion
  • Poor sleep
  • Sickness, bad stomach
  • Loss of appetite or over-eating
  • A weaker immune system, giving rise to illness such as coughs and colds

It is normal to feel all these things, and many other feelings besides. If you would like some support in making sense of these feelings, please contact us through any one of our services below.

What bereavement support services do Rowans offer?

One-to-one counselling

One to One Counselling and therapeutic support

Vernon Nash Rowans Web 01 031We offer bereavement support in the form of one-to-one therapeutic support through our team of Clinical Psychologists, Psychotherapists, and Counsellors based at the Rowans Hospice. They are compassionate and trained professionals who you can listen to you in a safe and confidential space.

If you would like to know more about this, you can call the Rowans Bereavement Service Administrator directly on 02392 238 537.

If the person who died wasn’t known to the Hospice or NHS community palliative care teams, you can ask your GP for a referral to our Psychology Service.


Living Well Services

Support at the Living Well Services

Support at the Living Well CentreWe also offer bereavement support through our Living Well Services. If you would like to talk to somebody about the death of someone close to you, now or at any time in the future, you can call the Rowans Living Well Services on 023 9224 8011.

Our specially trained staff and volunteers will be on hand to provide a listening ear and arrange the appropriate support going forward. No referral is needed.

The Services are open from 10:00 – 16:00, Monday to Friday.


Activity groups

Activity groups

We offer various face-to-face and online activities through our Living Well Services for those who are bereaved. These include: bereavement cooking course, mindfulness, yoga and gardening groups. These take place frequently throughout each month.

Our groups will allow you to be around people who are going through the same experience as you, and to do something for yourself and be supported in a caring and relaxed environment. For the full list of our activity groups, see our Living Well Services page.

Support for Children

Child Bereavement Support

Meerkats BackWe offer support to children and families through support service, Rowans Meerkat Service, which offers bereavement support specifically to children and young adults up to the age of 18 years. The support offered includes an advice service for parents supporting children both before and after bereavement, 1:1 therapeutic support, and age specific activity groups are available also.

Our Child Bereavement Support page features more information about Rowans Meerkat Service, including a downloadable book that offers guidance on helping a young person through a bereavement and the latest editions of a magazine aimed at bereaved children which we call Meerkat Mail.

You can find out more about it on our child bereavement support page.

Memorial gifts

Memorial gifts

We are able to create a Memory Elephant out of the items of clothing belonging to the person who has died. This is a unique and beautiful symbolic gift to remember the person and to bring comfort when thinking of them. To find out more, you can visit our memorial gifts page.

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