LOSING a loved one is tough but most people find birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas particularly.
The charity Help in Bereavement supports people across the area by visiting them in their homes for a chat.
The group held a coffee morning and a Christmas event yesterday, which was attended by a number of other bereavement groups plus the mayors of Havant, Gosport and Fareham.
Linda Smith, the team leader for Waterlooville, organised the event.
She said: ‘Myself and Rosemary Mott started a coffee morning for people who are desperately lonely and may be struggling but don’t really need that level of home visit support.
‘Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries are the hardest times of the year for people who have suffered a bereavement.
‘I’m visiting six clients at the moment and one cancelled the other day because they can’t cope. It’s a common response at this time of year, it’s so painful for them.
‘There is also a feeling of guilt because they are expected to be having fun at Christmas and they feel guilty doing that.
‘We support people who have lost loved ones suddenly through car crashes or perhaps have died after a long illness.
‘There are people whose loved ones passed away in the past few months and some 30 years ago.
‘We support children as well but that is usually in schools.’
Miss Smith decided to hold a Christmas special coffee morning and invited other groups who are making a difference in the area through bereavement support – including the Mothers’ Union, groups from St George’s Church and All Saints’ Church, Denmead.
She said: ‘A lot of the work done by groups overlaps and we thought it was important that we got together.’
The charity was founded in 1979 and is run by volunteers.
Call (07834) 457284 for support.