Bereavement Support & Bereavement Counselling

St Gemma’s is here to continue caring for you after your loved one’s death. We provide bereavement support and bereavement counselling in Leeds; this service is available to all families and carers of patients who were supported by St Gemma’s Hospice.

We can offer advice on practical arrangements and understanding your grief as well as bereavement support and counselling.

Coping with Bereavement

Coping with loss can be extremely difficult. Help and support from others may help you to cope with your bereavement.

Grief is a natural reaction following the death of someone close and it is a very individual experience. Bereavement causes deep sadness, distress and unexpected feelings such as :

disbelief   anger   guilt   panic

This extra emotional distress may cause acute tiredness.

You may find yourself feeling acute grief or coping with your grief by keeping busy or distracting yourself from painful feelings. Other people around you may be coping differently from you and so it can be difficult to connect with each other. You may also be trying to protect each other from distress.

It often helps if you talk about these feelings, which can relieve some of the stress you experience, now or later. You may feel others are avoiding you, maybe because they are embarrassed and do not know what to say. You may need to let them know you want to talk about the person who has died and that you need their support. Particularly if you have children, or work or other commitments, you may need space for yourself in which to grieve.

Grieving takes time. Though it may be difficult to believe it now , most people gradually begin to feel less raw and rebuild parts of their life again, although that life will be different.

Bereavement Support Meeting
We hold monthly support meetings on the second Friday morning of the month from 10 a.m until 12 noon. These are run by the Bereavement Team. Bereaved people are welcome to try one of these meetings. Speaking with others going through a similar experience can be helpful.

Individual Support
We also offer confidential individual bereavement support. It may help you to explore your feelings and look at what is specifically troubling you.

Please contact the Bereavement Team on 0113 218 5500 for more details.

We have specialist children and young people’s workers, who who offer individual support sessions during their loved one’s illness or after they have died. Additionally, we run regular days to remember the person who has died.

Please visit www.st-gemma.co.uk/young-peoples-service or call 0113 218 5500.

  • Close to the first anniversary of a patient’s death, the next of kin will receive an invitation to a memorial service at the Hospice.
  • The name of patients are inscribed in the memorial book in the Hospice’s chapel.
  • In return for a donation you can have a leaf inscribed and hung on the Tree of Life in the memorial garden, or sponsor a brick in the Wall of Light in the Hospice gardens.

For more information about donating in-memory and any other fundraising information, please call 0113 218 5500.

When Someone Has Died

When a loved one dies it can be a very emotional time and this can make it hard to know what practical things you need to do next. We hope the following information will be helpful to you.

Registering a Death
For people who have died at the Hospice, a doctor will issue a Cause of Death Certificate. This will be given to you by a nurse who has looked after the patient. They will explain to you what you need to do. Normally this means taking the certificate to the Registry Office in Leeds to obtain the Death Certificate. The Hospice will inform a patient’s family doctor (GP) of the death. There is a leaflet available at the Hospice titled “Registering a Death”.

It is useful to remember when you collect the Death Certificate that you may need copies for banks and insurance companies. It is advisable to ask for copies straightaway, as there is an additional search fee if you require them later.

For St Gemma’s patients who die in the community, the GP or District Nurse will write the Cause of Death certificate. This will then have to be taken to the Registry Office as described above. Normally the St Gemma’s Hospice Clinical Nurse Specialist will contact the next of kin after the death.

Planning a Funeral
Planning and making choices about the funeral of a loved one is an important part of the grieving process.

Many people seek help from a minister, priest or faith representative. They are happy to support the family and carers in planning a service in a place of worship, at a cemetery or crematorium. Funeral directors will put you in touch with a minister of faith at your request.

If you have no particular connection with a church, synagogue, mosque or temple and you want advice about a non-religious funeral there is help available to arrange a funeral of your choice. Please contact us for details.

Burial or Cremation?
This choice will be influenced by your faith and cultural background. If you choose cremation you will need to consider what you want to do with the ashes of your loved one afterwards.

Many children attend funerals and find this useful. Often it is a family choice as to whether young children attend.

  • Whether they are attending or not, it is useful to…
  • Explain clearly what will happen
  • Encourage questions
  • Often it’s useful to have someone who is appointed to accompany the children who is not directly bereaved so they can support the children
  • Children can contribute to funerals by sending a letter , toy, photograph, flowers, etc to be incorporated in the service
  • Let them help with the arrangements
  • Be aware that others may think that children should be ‘protected’

Here are a selection of Funeral Directors in Leeds:

Affordable Funerals

0113 267 4577

Asquiths Funeral Service

0113 252 2503

Bensons Funeral Services

0113 276 0077

Binks Funeral Directors

0113 253 2087

Carroll and Carroll Funeral Services

0113 345 3160

Cooke & Son

0113 286 2752

Co-operative Funeralcare

0800 088 4883

Crabtree & Son

01943 872619

Crabtree and Son

0113 285 2650

Denison’s Funeral Service

0113 252 5243

Dodgson & Son

0113 249 8849

Dovener & Son

0113 224 9788

Fisher Funerals

0113 268 6069

Fox and Sons

0113 282 2264

Full Circle Funerals

01943 262626

Gallagher Funeral Services

0113 274 7888

Geldart and Sons

0113 258 2134

Gooding Funeral Services

0113 210 7998

Good’s Funeral Directors

01943 462646

Hartley and Son

0113 289 2354

Kaye’s of Moortown

0113 237 0485

Kettleys Funeral Service

0113 250 3716

Love & Stevens Funeral Directors

0113 345 3380

Mahony & Ward

0113 256 5209

Robson and Ellis Funeral Service

0113 257 0542

Slaters of Horsforth Ltd

0113 258 2395

Spence Ltd

0113 268 2842

Tate Funeral Directors

0113 834 7671

Tempest Funeral Service

0113 239 2700

Thomasons Funeral Service

0113 248 2899

Verity Funeral Directors

0113 257 8799

Waite and Son

0113 231 0432

Wood Funerals

0113 270 5015

Wormalds Funeral Directors

0113 258 4712

For further information and to access our services, please contact the St Gemma’s Hospice Bereavement Team on 0113 218 5500.

St. Gemma’s Bereavement Team

0113 218 5500

Leeds Age UK

0113 389 3000


CRUSE, Bereavement Care

0113 234 4150


Leeds Lesbian & Gay Switchboard

0113 245 3588

The Samaritans 24 hr National No.

08457 90 90 90

Leeds Samaritans

0113 245 6789

Leeds Mental Health Crisis Team

(Single Point of Assessment)

0300 300 1485

Leeds City Council Welfare Rights Unit

0113 376 0452


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