Evelyn Rutter, Funeral Bereavement Support

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Helping to put the smiles back.

We cope with the loss of a loved one in our own, very personal manner. There is no one way to grieve and no set time for that grieving process.

“Everyone’s grief is different,” says bereavement support councillor Evelyn Rutter. ”So we offer somewhere for people to acknowledge their emotions and be with others who understand something of what they are going through.” 

Evelyn helped start the East of England Co-op bereavement groups some 18 years ago. These now run on a weekly basis in 10 locations through Essex and Suffolk.

While Evelyn or her colleague Rebecca attends each meeting, there is no formal programme. “People can just turn up, stay for as long as they like, talk to others or simply listen.  These sessions are open to everyone, not just Coop Funeral Services clients, and they can come as often as they would like.

“There is sadness and often unexplainable anger. Bereavement can also make you feel unsafe. We therefore provide a safe place to express what are extremely personal feelings. A chance, perhaps, to let it all out.”

Evelyn also offers one-to-one counselling but the objectives are the same; to help someone cope with a loss in a very individual way and give them reason to laugh again.

“We see people come in for the first time and their sadness and often loneliness can be so obvious. After a while, just sitting and having a friendly chat with someone who understands, we see a change. They may still be crying inside but with this bit of help we see the smiles beginning to come back on their face.

“It may seem a small thing but we know it does make a very big difference.”

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