Bereavement by Sudden Loss

credit: Shutterup Photography

Any bereavement is hard,   

Counselling can be helpful to unpick some of these feelings and work through how you are feeling and ways to cope. Often your own wellbeing suffers as a result of your grief. Here at Edward’s Trust we also offer wellbeing support.


Helplines for immediate support

Find out more about how we can help

What is Counselling?

The word ‘counselling’ is a bit of a daunting word, but really it’s just about meeting with somebody who will try and understand and is trained to help you express how you are feeling. This can help you work through how you feel and find coping strategies for your grief journey.

Read more here

What is Wellbeing therapy?

Facing the loss of a loved one is a very individual journey and the experience of grief often affects the whole person – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.             

Wellbeing therapies offer a range of ways to support you to relax, and become more aware of how closely our mind, body and emotions are linked.

Read more here



Personal Stories

Lesley lost her son in a Road Traffic Collision and came to Edward’s Trust for support. Here is her story.


Free, evidence-based resources to support schools, colleges and practitioners working with traumatically bereaved children and young people. This a great website full of information and resources.
Traumatically bereaved children and young people experience significant distress and difficulties, over and above a more typical grief. Traumatic bereavement can be easily missed or misunderstood by parents, teachers and even bereavement practitioners, meaning that children’s difficulties are not recognised. This is a great annimation from the UK Trauma Council to help understand and be better equipped to support.

For practical support following bereavement by crime

Podcasts, Blogs 

If podcasts & blogs are your thing, then here are some you might find helpful or interesting


Personal Stories from other organisations


Here are some recommended websites about bereavement by sudden loss that we hope you will find informative and useful

Offering support to those bereaved  by a road traffic collision is an important part of our work. Nikki received support from us after their son Jack was killed in a car accident. Here is Nikki’s story

On December 3rd, I received the most devastating news that a parent could ever hear; my 18 year old son Jack had been killed in a car accident whilst on his way to work. At that moment I thought my life had ended too, my heart was broken and I couldn’t see a way of living with the terrible pain that filled my days. Life without him was unbearable and it virtually tore the family apart.

I was encouraged to contact Edward’s Trust by a friend who had suffered the same. Being able to talk to someone who understood what we were going through was invaluable and with regular support, counselling, and group meetings with other families who are coping with the loss of a child, we are slowly rebuilding our lives. I know that I couldn’t be where I am today without their support and now, there are more good times than not. The difficult times I am coping better with, and just being able to talk in a comfortable, caring environment means the world to me.

This year it should have been Jack’s 21st birthday. I was absolutely dreading it and quite frankly had no idea how I was going to deal with the day. I decided that I would like to give something back to Edward’s Trust and set up a fundraising page on Facebook. The response was absolutely amazing. Friends and family came together to celebrate his special day and we raised over £2,000. I was so overwhelmed with the response, it made what was a very difficult day both meaningful and special.

Life will never be the same without our beautiful boy, but Edward’s Trust have given us hope that there is a future and Jack will always be part of it.


Here are a few books that we recommend for adults

Hope Beyond the Headlines - Winston's Wish

Supporting a child bereaved through murder or manslaughter – This specialist book offers practical advice for families in the immediate days, weeks and months following a murder. It is written for both parents and professionals, giving them the confidence to involve children and young people in understanding and managing the particular difficulties and complexities that so often surround a death by murder or manslaughter.

Coping with Suicide - Maggie Helen

There are over 6,000 suicides in the UK every year, in addition to 160,000 people who attempt suicide. Each suicide leaves an estimated five to eight people closely affected by the death, and nearly 50 percent of the population know someone who has self-harmed. This book is aimed at those whose loved ones have taken their lives and will also be useful for people working with the relatives and friends of those who have taken their life suicide.

Silent Grief – Living in the Wake of Suicide - Christopher Lukas and Henry M Seiden

“Silent Grief” is a book for and about “suicide survivors” – those who have been left behind by the suicide of a friend or loved one. Author Christopher Lukas is a suicide survivor himself – several members of his family have taken their own lives – and the book draws on his own experiences, as well as those of numerous other suicide survivors. These personal testimonies are combined with the professional expertise of Henry M. Seiden, a psychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist.

Here are a few books that we recommend for children

Luna’s Red Hat - Emmi Smid

This important publicaton (including a DVD) provides a sensitive and appropriate means of engaging with children around the difficult question of death through suicide. Red Chocolate Elephants will be a valuable tool for those supporting children in schools and other settings, and provides an important bridge into exploring this complex and confusing experience.

Red Chocolate Elephants: For Children Bereaved by Suicide - Diana C Sands PhD

This important publicaton (including a DVD) provides a sensitive and appropriate means of engaging with children around the difficult question of death through suicide. Red Chocolate Elephants will be a valuable tool for those supporting children in schools and other settings, and provides an important bridge into exploring this complex and confusing experience.

But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Children and Families After a Suicide - Barbara Rubel

But I Didn’t Say Goodbye is a book seen through the eyes of Alex, an eleven-year-old boy, whose father has died by suicide. This story is a glimpse into a child’s traumatic and life changing personal experience. But I Didn’t Say Goodbye introduces you to a bereaved family immediately after a suicide and ends five years later. The dialogue in each chapter will show you how you can help develop honest, open communication between children and the people in their lives.

Here are a few resources that we recommend for children & young people

Beyond the Rough Rock: Supporting a Child Who Has Been Bereaved Through Suicide - Winston's Wish

Explaining to a child that someone has died by suicide is possibly one of the most difficult situations that a parent or carer might ever face.  This booklet offers practical advice for families in the immediate days and weeks when suicide has been the cause of death.  It is a useful booklet aimed at giving parents and professionals the confidence to involve children in discussions about the nature of a death by suicide.  It is hoped that children may then begin to understand some of the complexities that often surround suicide.  The booklet includes child-friendly activities for you to do as a family as you begin to make sense of what has happened and start to look at ways in which your family can learn to cope.

You Just Don’t Understand: Supporting bereaved teenagers. - Winston's Wish

The transition from childhood to adulthood can be a challenging process at the best of times. This booklet aims to help you understand what is normal adolescent development, and to recognise the additional problems teenagers may face if someone important dies during these years. This booklet is based on many years’ experience of working with bereaved teenagers, families and professionals who support them and the information here will help you to consider how to respond to the individual needs of a bereaved teenager.

Never too Young to Grieve – Supporting children under 5 after the death of a parent- Winston's Wish

This booklet is designed for parents, carers, childcare professionals and other adults supporting children up to the age of 5 who have experienced the death of a parent or carer. It offers information and ideas as well as some activities which we hope will benefit children and their families.

RockyRoads The Journeys of Families through Suicide Grief- Michelle Linn Gust

The grief journey following a suicide loss is not a quick and easy path. Because people are unique, as are the life experiences of individuals, the road can open up in several ways for each person. No one travels the same way. In Rocky Roads: The Journeys of Families through Suicide Grief, Michelle Linn-Gust, the author of Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Sibling, guides the family unit with a road map to navigate suicide grief as individuals and also as part of the family unit with the ultimate goal of strengthening the family even after a devastating suicide loss.