The importance of not bottling up your grief

Quote from a community user: "I write things that I would not say anywehre else, and I receive such insightful responses"

Bereavement has been making the headlines lately. If this has been bringing up difficult feelings for you, our online community is here to help. Online Community Manager Priscilla discusses how crucial it is to talk and how doing so really is proven to aid your recovery.

Recently it seems as though there have been a series of high-profile figures talking publicly about how bereavement has affected them – including Prince HarryRio Ferdinand and Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg.

One theme that I’ve noticed in all these stories is the importance of talking about grief – Prince Harry, for instance, said he bottled up his feelings about his mother’s death for nearly 20 years, causing two years of emotional "chaos" when the grief finally caught up to him.

At Sue Ryder, we know that not having anyone to talk to about your feelings can add more than eight months, on average, on to the time that you take to grieve.

Help is at hand

That’s why the Sue Ryder Online Community is here.

Our online support forums allow people affected by terminal illness or bereavement to connect, exchange messages and support each other. It’s a safe and supportive place where you can write openly about your feelings – and where there will be others who understand what you are going through. You can access it 24/7 from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Working on the Online Community, I’ve seen what a huge difference it can make to people who are struggling with grief. So often, I read posts that powerfully express people’s relief and gratitude at feeling heard and understood by others in their shoes.

"I was a broken man and feeling so empty until I came on this site and realised I’m not alone."

Why it's good to talk

In a recent survey, I asked our users if the Online Community was making a difference in their lives, and the results were overwhelming.

  • 99% of users said the Online Community helped them feel less alone
  • 91% said it gave them an outlet for their emotions
  • 84% said they could count on other users for support

Support from friends and family, or professionals is also important. But some of our users tell us that don’t have access to this support, or find it hard to talk about their feelings face to face, which means that the site is particularly crucial for them.

  • More than 1 in 10 users don’t have any other source of support

Visit our online community

Our peer support community is at support.sueryder.org

Priscilla McClay

Online Community Manager

Priscilla McClay