Grief is a natural process following a loss, it can be devastating when you lose a loved one or friend. For someone living with borderline personality disorder, the emotions felt during grief can be more intense and overwhelming than it is for other people, and may be dealt with in different ways.
Grief can cause a heightened sense of unwarranted anger, guilt, and shame – frustration and rage are particularly common feelings after a loss. You may find that you feel responsible for what happened, even when that’s definitely not the case. And if you were already struggling with feelings of abandonment, this can heighten the grief you already feel.
You may deal with your grief by acting impulsively, or through destructive behaviours like drinking or lashing out violently. These actions of grief, and their consequences, can cause extra pain and distress during an already distressing time.
There are several really good services in the UK to help you deal with grief in a safe and appropriate manner:
Cruse Bereavement Care
Cruse Bereavement Care provide free and confidential phone and face to face support to bereaved people. Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland trained bereavement volunteers offer support to adults and children. You can call them on 0808 808 1677, or use their chat service, to chat with a bereavement counsellor about how you are feeling. They also have some face-to-face services across the UK, use their local cruse service page to find support near you.
At a Loss provides help for people who have been bereaved. Includes a search tool for local support, griefchat service, Grablife activity support weekends, bereavement support for men, and support for young people. Their bereavement resource pages have many userful articles and links to support.
Compassionate Friends is a charitable organisation of bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents dedicated to the support and care of other bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents who have suffered the death of a child or children.
Bereavement Advice Centre
Bereavement Advice Centre advises on partical matters following a bereavement, and offers a free helpline for people who are bereaved and for professionals. It also has information on its website about practical matters and information on coping with grief.
WAY (Widowed & Young) Foundation
WAY is the only national charity in the UK for men and women aged 50 or under when their partner died. It’s a peer-to-peer support group run by a network of volunteers who have been bereaved at a young age. It runs activities and support groups for people coping with grief.
Bereaved Through Alcohol and Drugs (BEAD)
BEAD provides a source of information and support for anyone whose loved one has died as a result of drug or alcohol use. You may or may not have known about your loved one’s drug or alcohol use or been unaware of the full extent of their use. Perhaps you had been living with their long-term drug or alcohol use or perhaps they may have been experimenting with drugs or alcohol. BEAD was set up by Cruse Bereavement Care and Adfam, the national voice for families affected by drugs and alcohol.
There is also some useful information on the following pages: