The research, which was conducted with Census Wide and had 2,053 respondents, found that it takes an average of two years, one month and four days to feel better following a bereavement.
It also reveals that sharing experiences and talking about bereavement enables people to feel better more quickly. According to the charity, people who didn’t have any support grieved, on average, for an additional eight months, three weeks and five days.
Sue Ryder’s CEO, Heidi Travis, said that the research demonstrated the need for the charity’s new online community.
Funded by its Raise a Smile partnership with Morrisons, the community has expert Sue Ryder nurses available to give advice and support on how to deal with diagnosis and grief and allows those experiencing bereavement to connect with those in similar situations.
Alongside the online community, the charity has published a number of articles which offer practical advice on a range of subject such as what you can do to support someone who is dying and how to cope with bereavement.
“Bereavement can be a long and difficult process and we’ve launched our new online community and support to help people who are struggling to come to terms with a friend or loved one’s death and would benefit from receiving expert advice and tips as well as peer to peer support,” she explained.
“The service also seeks to better prepare people before a loved one dies and provides advice with everything from how to cope with their terminal diagnosis through to place of care decisions and how to plan before and after their death.
“Death affects everyone connected to that person and we hope our new online community and support will better support people during the most difficult time of their lives.”
Other key findings of the research included that more than one third (36.5%) of those surveyed felt that bereavement had a “considerably negative effect on their wellbeing.” Almost a quarter of individuals (23.3%) also “suffer in silence” and most of those who have been through bereavement said they had difficulty talking about it.
Women took longer to recover from bereavement than men: on average it took women two years and four months to feel better, while men said that it took on average one year and nine months. It also took people aged 45-54 twice as long to feel better than those in the 16-24 age category.
Heidi Travis added: “This ground-breaking research gives us a provocative insight into how we deal with grief as a nation. It is unsurprising that so many people try to deal with their loss on their own but that it catches up with them at a later date.”
Dr Ros Taylor MBE, National Director for Hospice Care at Hospice UK, commented: “Sue Ryder’s new research reveals some fascinating findings about the long-term impact of bereavement and how for many people sharing their feelings can significantly reduce their grieving period.
“Hospice staff are at the coalface of dealing with dying and loss and are skilled in supporting families who have lost their loved ones. We know that many people often struggle to get the right support after bereavement and some hospices are tackling this by opening up their bereavement services to their local communities.
“Sue Ryder’s new online community support service is an excellent way of bringing bereaved people together, so they do not feel isolated and can more easily get the peer support, advice and information they need.”
More information about the new online community and support is available on the Sue Ryder website.