People may want to express their shock, sadness and support through phone calls, letters, texts, emails, messages on Facebook and other social media sites, visits or coming to stay. This contact can be supportive, but also overwhelming.

Insensitive comments can also be hurtful. Some people may say unkind things without thinking, as they try to manage their own grief.

During this time, it is important to remember:

  • Only share information you want to. Don’t be pushed into telling more. It might be helpful to write down what you are prepared to share
  • Remember you can choose who to see or who to speak to. You can always respond to others later on, when you feel more able to. Others can take messages for you
  • If you need time out, make space for yourself. You could use voicemail, put a sign on your door or let people know you are taking a break from social media
  • Sudden shock and grief can have an impact on decision-making. You could talk with someone you trust before making any important decisions. It is okay to tell people you need some time to think before giving an answer
  • If people offer to help, think about what would help you most. It might lighten your load if someone else helped to cook, clean, babysit, take phone calls or contact people for you.