Five ways to cope with loss from people who’ve been there

Losing someone you love to a terminal illness is incredibly difficult. After they’ve gone, it can be tough to know how to carry on. We asked five people who’ve gone through bereavement to share what helps them cope.

Anne got back in the saddle

Anne found solace in cycling, which she and her husband, David, had both loved

“The first time I went out on a bike after David died, I felt heavy. Cycling was a shared passion for us. When you love a partner and you have them to share something like that with, it can be hard to go back to it. But then it was like he was with me in the saddlebag. He’d said to me: “Please do the things we would have done together.” That inspired me to get back out on my bike.”

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Sian and her brothers and sisters are pulling together

Sian (left) and her family help each other deal with their loss

“Mum told us to be strong. We’re doing ok. We have our moments. One minute you’re crying your heart out, the next you’re laughing at the happy memories. It’s like we have an invisible cord – when one person is down we lift each other up.”

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Chris leans on his dog, Buddy

Chris is adapting to life without his wife, Jenny

“Life will never be the same again without Jenny, but I take great comfort in Buddy, our dog. Jenny loved him. Buddy is with me 24/7 and has kept me going – I take him out, we go on shoots and to the Chapel Farm rehabilitation centre. He has helped me cope with my grief.”

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Buddy the dog

Roy joined a choir

Members of the choir sing together and support one another

“When my wife was ill and I was caring for her, my life revolved around her needs. I didn’t realise until after she had gone how much my world had shrunk in that time. The choir is such fun and everyone is so warm and welcoming. I was reluctant to join as I haven’t sung in years, but I was persuaded and I haven’t looked back.”

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Kelvin volunteers to raise money in his wife’s memory

Kelvin's wife Sylvia was a Marie Curie Nurse

I know I couldn’t be a nurse, like Sylvia was, but at least this way I can help pay for nurses to do what she did. When you lose a loved one as I did, you can’t bring them back, but you can help those lovely people who carry the good work on. That is my way of saying thank you to my wife, and all the other nurses. It’s my tribute to Sylvia.”

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If you’ve lost someone following a terminal illness, you don’t have to go through it alone. Our Support Line is here to help, with practical information or simply someone to chat to. Call free on 0800 090 2309. There’s also information about bereavement on our website which may help.