Do friends and family talk to you about your grief?

Have people around you gone quiet or even avoided you after your bereavement?

I’ve certainly noticed some people on the community describing that experience, and some recent research by Sue Ryder seems to confirm it:

  • Over half of the people we asked said they would be scared of saying the wrong thing to a bereaved person.
  • A third of bereaved people feel they can’t open up to those around them.
  • A third of bereaved people said family and friends stopped asking how they were after just three weeks
  • But two thirds said there was actually no end to the grieving period

Today, Sue Ryder has launched our #JustSaySomething campaign to try to encourage more people to open up and talk about grief. If you keep an eye out, you may notice some coverage in the media.

We’ve also created some online information resources on both coping with grief and supporting someone else through grief. Visit


The reason i have just joined this community is because I feel very isolated in my grief and loss of my ex-partner who died nearly 3 years ago. I have many supportive people in my life and I am grateful and lucky to have that. But as time has gone on, people have stopped talking. Admittedly, that includes me. I have lost contact with my ex’s family (it would not be a healthy choice to reconnect in this instance) and am now in a new and loving relationship. But. Despite my current partner being very supportive of me about my loss. And I can speak to him about anything else. I do not feel I can speak to him about every feeling of sadness I have about the loss of my ex. This is about me not my current partner. I know he would be understanding and receptive but I also know that some of my thoughts and feelings would hurt him. My feelings also feel private and between me and my ex if that makes sense! Sharing them feel like a betrayal to both my current partner and my ex.
I also feel like i have put my friends through enough of my grief so dont want to burden or worry them with my pain. Especially as in the first year of grief, I was in a very bad place.
I am frustrating myself as I am a massive advocate of being open about feelings and grief. But in this case, I find myself being a hypocrite.

Hi @Carrots, welcome to the Sue Ryder Online Community. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your ex partner and that you don’t have anyone you can talk to about him. It sounds as though your new partner is understanding, which is good, but it makes sense that you don’t feel that he is the best person for you to talk to about this.

I’m glad that you’ve found this site and I hope that it helps to have a safe and supportive place to share how you are feeling. There are lots of understanding people here, who have all lost someone. As well as posting replies, you may also wish to think about starting a new conversation yourself at some point, as this will sometimes generate more replies.

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I understand that feeling of not being able to share feelings but I would encourage you to try. I’m sure your partner would be more than happy to listen and you might find it deepens your relationship and more importantly brings you a lot of comfort. I often read the advice “what would you say to a friend in this situation ?” I’m sure if a friend in pain reached out to you, you would not find it a burden to listen, but a privilege to help. I reached out to a friend last night and although it came with feelings of guilt for doing so, I’m glad I did. We all need support in life and it sounds like you’ve been through something that has affected you deeply which is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone has scars. There are also bereavement groups or you could find a counsellor if you’d rather not speak to your partner about this.

Hope you find the support you need.

Best wishes, V

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Thank you V and Priscilla.
You are absolutely right!
Hehe, funnily enough after writing that post, I did think…what would I say to a friend if they had written/said this? And I did speak to my partner (who was lovely and understanding) and a friend who had remembered that it is Chris’s anniversary coming up and reassured me that my right to feel sad does not have an expiry date! l have decided it is now the right time for me to look at getting some counselling! I clearly have some guilt and shame to work through!

But I dont think i would have given myself that push if I hadn’t have posted. Not as immediately anyway! :joy:

Thank you for listening guys X


Wonderful! This site is so great. I’ve found such a lot of comfort from it in the short time I’ve been on here and I’m glad to have helped you in a small way.



I lost my husband unexpectedly 9 months ago, I don’t think people know what to say, are you better? It’s not an illness I lost my husband of 33years . Widow at 59. I’m lost without him. People avoid you or distance themselves from you. My children are Adults and have been fantastic, some family members suffocate you! It’s hard , only I can go through this massive loss, we all grieve differently.

Yes, and grief takes time - everyone says the same thing. It takes the time it takes. The pain doesn’t necessarily diminish but our lives get rebuilt around the pain so that it feels more manageable. I do think that sadness and crying and pain is necessary, but we have been told to be positive about everything - to rationalise bad things or disappointment. This isn’t really that healthy though. I do find crying quite therapeutic even if it also upsets me a bit. I’m getting better at accepting it and going with the flow of it when I can. It’s been Just less than 9 months since my dad passed away and he was so important to me. I can’t show my grief to everyone because I don’t think they’d understand but I have got support from a counsellor and my family.

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Lost my Darling Beautiful wife Peñny :heart: to METS BREAST CANCER on the 06 November 2019
That Penny​:heart: didn’t know she had. Passed away 21 days after diagnosis. I have Prostate Cancer told this time last year. Family or Friends have Stopped Phoning it’s like I am no long here ( which I don’t want to be ) without my Penny :heart: . Penny :heart: was only 67 Years old. I am 70. We were married for 48 WONDERFUL YEARS. I had only just retired when I was 69. As I was feeling unwell . We had no retirement together. Life is just lonely and empty now. Peñny :heart: was my life and my world when I wasn’t working we did everything together.


Grief is a lonely path at times. All we can do is walk it .:cry::broken_heart:


Sorry for your sudden loss Freddie. I do hope you can find some solace with this forum as I have. Grief takes its time and others don’t always realise how long it takes. Have you thought about joining a bereavement group? You may be able to find one where you live. I would also recommend counselling. Talking things out is so therapeutic even if all you do is have a little cry. It can really lift a weight off your shoulders.


Also there are groups like university of the third age which have lots of classes when you feel more up to it - don’t know if there’s one near you but they are all over uk I think.

Victoria 49 Thank you it’s been a horrible year of missed diagnosis for both Penny :heart: and myself . Yes I have been in contact with Cruse Bereavement waiting for counciling to come available . Met Penny :heart: when she was 16 Me 19. Married. Penny :heart: when she was 18 Me 21. We lived 15 doors from each other in the same road . Married Penny :heart: on the 5th June 1971. Life feels so cruel

Life is very cruel at times and all we can do is get up and function for now and hope the pain lessens in time. Your loved ones will always be in your thoughts and heart and some days will be unbearable, some more bearable. No end to grief, just finding ways to cope. :cry::broken_heart:


Hi freddie107 my wife passed June 16th 2019 I was also told I had prostate cancer halfway through the radiotherapy my wife passed it was very hard to finish treatment but I did promise

Hi Newb. So sorry for your loss of your wife at a time when you where having Treatment like yourself 2019 has been a horrible year

Nobody talks to me about my grief they all think I should be over it by now.

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Let’s hope 2020 is a little bit better for us all

Sadme So sorry I am having the same nobody wants to talk just feel on my own. Wife’s family never phone or text it’s as if when Penny :heart: passed away I was no longer part of the Family . When they and problems we where there all the time. My family the same haven’t seen them since the funeral in December last year. Phoning Sermaritians is a waste of time blocked me . Thought they were there for help. Grief it’s like family and friends have just left me to get on with it

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