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Longer term

As time progresses, you’ll notice that your grief changes. The intense emotions will become less frequent, and your mind will be able to start focusing on other things. While your life will never be the same again, you are building a new kind of life; not one you would have chosen, but one that you will slowly become more familiar with.

Grief does have its ups and downs, and you will experience periods of high intensity emotions and pain from time to time. Birthdays and other events can bring back painful memories, for example. At times like this, you must take care of yourself – remind yourself what helped you before, that it will get easier again and you should look for support if you want to.

Feeling depressed is a normal aspect of bereavement, and it’s hard to distinguish between inevitable sadness and being depressed. Depression means having a low mood that persists over time, loss of energy, fatigue, thoughts of death, poor concentration and a host of other symptoms. It is perfectly normal to feel helpless and desperate after a loved one dies, and it’s hard to cope with such strong emotions. It’s no wonder that you might be feeling depressed for a while, but this usually passes within a few months. If you do feel depressed, talk to your doctor and they can help you find appropriate support.

If you’re also struggling with finances, housing or other practical problems that have arisen after the death, which can make feelings of depression worse, the Citizens Advice Bureau can provide you with advice on these kinds of issues.

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