The sense of grief and loss you experience when someone close to you dies can be overwhelming. You can go through numbness, anger, sadness, but can also cause physical reaction, loss of energy, appetite, sleeplessness. Grief is normal but can be hard to bear and mouning is a long process.
Bupa produce a useful factsheet on bereavement.
RAF Community Support also have information on Bereavement and Casualty and have links to the RAF Widows Association who offer support, comfort, friendship and advice to those newly bereaved whos spouse was serving in the RAF at the time of their death. The RAFCOM website also offer link to other sources of information and support and are committed to aid family members in their time of need.
Winston's Wish is a charity that helps bereaved children who have lost a parent or siblings.
Forces Children's TrustThe Forces Children’s Trust is a charity devoted to helping dependent children that have lost a parent whilst serving with the Armed Forces.
FAB Providing fun and challenging activity holidays around the UK for bereaved military families
CRUSE Cruse Bereavement Care is a charity whose aim is to promote the well-being of bereaved people and to enable anyone bereaved by death to understand their grief and cope with their loss. Services are free to bereaved people and the charity provides support and offers information, advice, education and training services.
CRUSE have put together a DVD (2009) entitled:
'Behind Every Headline is Heartache - Suppporting the Military Family'
Copies should be available from the HIVE or the Padre or if you have problems getting hold of a copy contact CRUSE direct: 0844 477 9400.
SSAFA run two support for those recently bereaved including those who have lost loved ones in recent conflicts.
- Support Group for Bereaved Families
- Support Group for Bereaved Siblings
The tri-service groups meet regularly, offering mutual support and allowing families to share experiences, information and advice.
Jane Barnes, who co-ordinates the groups on behalf of SSAFA Forces Help, said:
“When a loved one has been killed it can be very isolating, but talking can help. We now have a website which will not only give people all the information they need about SSAFA’s Family Support Groups it will also give them the chance to talk in confidence through a private forum that is open only to group members.
“The groups work through mutual support and the online forum will mean members can log in at any time to talk to other people who have been through similar experiences.”
The Support Groups also give families the opportunity to exchange information and advice about practical issues that arise when someone has served in the Armed Forces such as repatriation ceremonies, next of kin and inquests.
The groups are encourged to meet up and a group of over eightly parents, partners, children and siblings have done so. Mr Bacon, chairman of the Support Group, lost his son Maj Matthew Bacon when a roadside bomb struck the vehicle he was travelling in.
“The support group works because everyone has gone through similar experiences and being able to get together and talk about it with other people who really understand is invaluable.”
For further information about the SSAFA Family Support Groups visit www.ssafasupportgroups.org.uk or contact Jane Barnes at SSAFA on 020 7463 9234
Legal Advice on the Inquest Process
The Royal British Legion have secured funding to offer Free Independent Legal Advice to families where there has been a death in-Service. The service is expected to be available from Spring/Summer 10.
See story dated 6 Jan 10 under the 'News' Section on the menu to the left.
Click here for the Royal British Legion website