We all have individual needs and will have different experiences with grief and being LGBTQ+ may mean that you have specific concerns or questions about getting the bereavement support you need. Knowing that you can have specialist support without prejudice at your most vulnerable time is so important, and Grief Encounter is here to provide open-access care, for when you need it most.

You might worry that professionals will treat you differently because of your sexual orientation or gender identity. You may worry that they won’t understand your needs or choices and you may have had negative experiences before, but Grief Encounter is here to offer support without prejudice, and practical and compassionate advice to give hope and healing after the death of someone close.

Here are some tips to help those in the LGBTQ+ community through the grieving process:

  • Recognize and validate your feelings: Allow yourself to experience and acknowledge the full range of emotions that come with grief, such as sadness, anger, guilt, or confusion. Remember that it’s normal to feel a mix of emotions, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
  • Seek support from understanding individuals: Reach out to friends, family members, or support groups who are empathetic and accepting of your identity. Having a safe space to express your feelings and be understood can make a huge difference in your experience.
  • Connect with the LGBTQ+ community: Surrounding yourself with people who share similar experiences can provide a sense of understanding. Grief Encounter host LGBTQ+ support groups to connect those who have faced similar challenges.
  • Seek professional support: Grief Encounter provides guidance, coping mechanisms, and a safe environment for you to process your grief. Our helpline is open every weekday from 9am – 9pm on 0808 802 0111 or our web chat service is also available.
    Practice self-care: Take care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Do things that bring you joy, maybe that’s exercising, meditating, or being creative. It’s important to take care of yourself during the grieving process.
    Talk to others who understand: There might be specific LGBTQ+ issues associated with your grief. Understanding how your identity impacts grief can help you navigate the complexities that may arise during this time.
    Remember: Find meaningful ways to remember your special person. This could involve creating a memory box, writing letters, participating in a memorial event, or celebrating their life with family and friends.
    Time: Grief is not linear, and there is no timeline to ‘stick to’ when grieving. Be patient and avoid comparing your progress to others or placing expectations on yourself to ‘feel better’ or ‘move on’ within a certain timeframe.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and everyone’s experience is unique. If you need additional support, please contact us by calling grieftalk, our free, national ad confidential helpline on 0808 802 0111 or email us at grieftalk@griefencounter.org.uk.