Marie Curie Companion Andrew Wilcox has been supporting bereaved people across Somerset for years. Here he shares some reflections and lessons he’s learnt along the way:
There are usually good and bad days, most people find the good days gradually outnumber the bad days, aided sometimes with a little help on the way.
Silence is golden
You don’t have to keep talking and maybe struggling for things to say. Silence really is golden and gives us a chance to really hear what is being said and particularly the way that it is said.
Really listening allows a ‘coming together’ even on the phone. The mind can move away from brain thinking and into another dimension where true empathy comes into its own and the magic of healing is facilitated.
Your presence is a gift
Don’t pretend you are a doctor and can give advice to make any physical problems disappear. The person doesn’t expect this and any healing that is required can take place by virtue of your very presence.
Plan for the end
During our lives we all share two common events, our birth and our death. Births are planned for and celebrated; deaths should be no different.
If you or someone you know, is affected by grief or bereavement, and would like to talk to someone, please call the Somerset Bereavement Support Service call 0800 3047 412 (Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm)
The Somerset Bereavement Support Service can offer a variety of support to adults and children over 12 in Somerset. The service has been commissioned by Public Health at Somerset County Council with support from Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and Somerset Community Foundation. It is provided in partnership by end-of-life charity Marie Curie and mental health charity Mind in Somerset.