When we lose someone we love, it can feel very isolating. Many of those around us feel unsure about how to help, worried about inadvertently saying or doing the wrong thing and making us feel worse. 

If only they realised that a hug or even a touch on the arm can say a lot. 

Instead, they often distance themselves in an effort not to offend, to give us space when, quite often, all we crave is human contact, a sounding board and love. 

At other times, it can be those of us who are grieving who isolate ourselves. Even when we’re desperate for support, we don’t want to be a burden or bring other people down. 

We build barriers, push people away, remove ourselves from emotional contact or pretend we’re just fine.  

The problem is this can lead to long-term depression, anxiety and other health and emotional issues. 

If you’re bereaved and are struggling to open up to those closest to you, then perhaps talking to other people on an online forum like Gransnet could help. 

This can have many benefits: 

  1. Expressing yourself: Putting all your emotions in a forum post can be a very cathartic way of identifying your feelings and working through your grief. 
  2. Support: Many of the people on Gransnet have experienced loss - and found their way to cope. They will listen, commiserate and give advice. You never need to worry about relying too heavily on one particular person, or denying your feelings.
  3. Anonymity: Although Gransnet is an open forum, you can choose to remain as anonymous as you like. Having the freedom to express your sense of loss without the fear of being seen as weak or not coping can be liberating.    
  4. Available 24/7: The forums are open at all times of the day and night. This can be hugely valuable, especially in the early days of grief when sleep evades us. 
  5. You can carry on talking about it: Although the passing of time usually helps, grief is always there. On Gransnet you can start a new conversation about a particularly difficult period, or how a certain situation has brought the sadness flooding back. As one user put it, “Those first weeks are awful, but so is later when the world has continued to spin and everybody is getting on with their lives. Except you.”

If you’re not quite ready to seek help from those closest to you, perhaps talking to people over on Gransnet is a good first step. 

It’s crucial that we address the taboo of talking about death as it can help all of us cope better with grief when the time comes. That’s why, at Gransnet, we’re so supportive of the Independent Age campaign on this topic. To find out more, visit We need to talk about death