Share your feelings to help cope with bereavement - with GPs and helplines available for support

LOSING someone close to you can be devastating and bereavement affects people in different ways.

Sharing your feelings with someone else can help and if you don’t feel comfortable talking to family or friends you can contact local bereavement services through your GP or through the national CRUSE helpline on 0844 477 9400.

If you are the person organising the funeral then contact a funeral director who belongs to one of the professional organisations such as the National Association of Funeral Directors or the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors.

These associations have codes of practice and complaints procedures. The person who arranges the funeral is responsible for paying the final bill and it is important to know where the money will come from.

The person who died may have had a pre-paid funeral plan, paying for their funeral in advance. Some people also leave full instructions for what kind of funeral they wish to have.

While most burials take place in churchyards or a local authority cemetery, they can also take place on private land or in a woodland site. There are more than 80 nature reserve burial grounds already open in the UK.

A tree can be planted for each grave which has no headstone and, for those not using undertakers, cardboard coffins or woollen shrouds are available.

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Funeral services can take many forms including a religious service in a place of worship or crematorium or a completely non-religious or secular service. A minister, leader or priest will help with a religious service and the British Humanist Association can give advice on a non-religious service.

If you do not want any service at all then the funeral director can arrange burial or cremation without any form of service.

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