Judy Field

Counselling in Harrogate, North Yorkshire


Three Tips for Managing Relationships With Family and Friends After a Bereavement

4th October 2021

When a loved one passes away, the dynamic between yourself and others who were close to that person is likely to change in some way. For example, a brother and sister who lost their mother may experience communication issues in the aftermath, or lose touch entirely. It is an extremely challenging time, and difficulties can often occur. This blog post walks you through a few important things that are helpful to remember when dealing with friends or relatives in the wake of losing someone you both love.

Some Space is Important

In the immediate aftermath of a loved one passing away, you may feel like this is the most important time to reach out to friends/family and be close to them. Bereavements can leave people in a state of shock, and it is natural to want to do something in response. However, in these instances, it is crucial that each affected individual is given the time and space they need to grieve and process the loss in their own way.

Some people may not be ready to talk things through and let others in for some time, and we have to be aware of this. Grief, as bereavement counsellors often say, is like a group of people being stranded atop a mountain with broken legs: everyone has to make their own way down, in their own time.

Establish a Routine

A good way of staying in touch with loved ones following a bereavement is to make sure you establish some kind of routine. If you don’t maintain a cycle of contact, it is possible that you will drift apart and create space between yourself and the loved one. This routine could be something as simple as a text message once a month, or maybe visiting a favourite restaurant every now and again. Having something like this in place creates a useful psychological anchor that ensures you stay in touch and keep communicating.

Do Something New

Many friends and relatives drift apart following a bereavement because they struggle to detach themselves from the past event. Seeing and speaking with each other can trigger memories of the loved one who has passed away, ultimately leading to both members avoiding each other, losing touch, or falling out.

As a result, it is important to move the relationship forward by doing something different. Bringing something new to the table means your dynamic becomes less centered around a painful memory and directed instead to new activities in the present moment – like hiking or going to a new restaurant. Put simply, if you want to keep close to loved ones following a bereavement, both parties must continue moving forward – rather than dwell on what has happened.

If you are struggling to maintain relationships with friends or family following a bereavement and want to talk things through with a bereavement counsellor in Harrogate or online, feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation, 30-minute chat over the phone ahead of booking your first session.

Get in Touch

To find out more about Individual CounsellingBereavement Therapy, Remote Counselling or my other services, you can contact me on 07855 059 964. Due to the nature of my work, I am not always available to answer the phone – please leave a voicemail message and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Appointments now available for in-person sessions, with social distancing in place. My therapy room is well ventilated and cleaned between each client session.

Most of the time I am able to offer you your first therapy session within a few days of your initial enquiry.

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I am able to offer day, evening and weekend appointments, subject to availability. My final appointment time on an evening is 8pm, Monday to Thursday and 7pm on a Friday.


Monday: 8am to 9pm

Tuesday: 8am to 9pm

Wednesday: 8am to 9pm

Thursday: 8am to 9pm

Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: 8am to 2pm

Sunday: Closed

Opening Hours

I am able to offer daytime, evening and weekend appointments, subject to availability. My final appointment time on an evening is 8pm, Monday to Thursday and 7pm on a Friday.


Monday: 8am to 9pm

Tuesday: 8am to 9pm

Wednesday: 8am to 9pm

Thursday: 8am to 9pm

Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: 9am to 3pm

Sunday: Closed

Opening Hours

I am able to offer daytime and evening appointments, subject to availability. My final appointment time on an evening is 8pm, Monday to Thursday and 7pm on a Friday.


Monday: 8am to 9pm

Tuesday: 8am to 9pm

Wednesday: 8am to 9pm

Thursday: 8am to 9pm

Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

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