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Information about bereavement & bereavement supports

The death of someone close, for most of us, is the greatest loss we will experience in our lives. Learning to live in the world without that person is the work of grieving. Everyone’s loss is different and therefore everyone’s grief is different.

Most people find their own way through bereavement with support from friends and family.

Information about the three levels of bereavement support available:

1. Information

Many bereaved people find it helpful to learn more about bereavement and to read accounts of other people’s experiences. The HSE have published a helpful information booklet titled Bereavement: when someone close dies. Available on the internet by clicking on the following link: Bereavement: when someone close dies

Information about bereavement can also be found on the Irish Hospice Foundation website at On the site, you can find information including:

  • grief and its impact on families, friends, and colleagues
  • grief following the death of a partner, including information for those who experience the death of a same sex partner
  • children and grief 
  • adolescents and grief
  • grief following suicide
  • talking to children about traumatic death
  • coping with loss
  • supporting someone who is grieving
  • details of services that provide bereavement support. 

Irish Hospice Foundation also has a number of videos about grief and loss on its YouTube Channel: If you don’t have access to the internet and would like to request information from Irish Hospice Foundation, you can phone them at 01 679 3188.

2. Bereavement support

Some bereaved people find it useful to receive outside support from similarly bereaved people or from trained volunteers. 

There are several organisations you may wish to contact for bereavement support:

  • the HSE, in partnership with the Irish Hospice Foundation, provides a bereavement support helpline to support people who have experienced the death of a family member or friend. You can call the bereavement support freephone service on 1800 80 70 77 to talk to a bereavement support volunteer. The telephone service is available from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday 
  • if your relative or friend was cared for by a hospice or palliative care team in the home or community, it is likely that a bereavement support service will be available through your local hospice service and contact there
  • if your relative or friend was cared for and died in a hospital, it is likely that bereavement support will be available through the hospital’s social work department.
  • if you would like to talk to a healthcare professional you could make an appointment with your GP (doctor)
  • Pieta provide free counselling to those who have been bereaved by suicide, to arrange an appointment you can contact 0818-111 126 
  • The Samaritans (Tel: 1850 60 90 90) offer a 24-hour listening service. 

3. Bereavement counselling or therapy

A small number of people experience significant difficulties in their bereavement. If you are concerned, please consult your GP and consider professional help. Your GP could make a specific recommendation to you.  

If you are having difficulty finding information please telephone the bereavement support freephone service on 1800 80 70 77 to talk to a bereavement support volunteer and they will do their best to help you.