The Loneliness of Grief

Grief can be one of the loneliest and most isolating experiences we’ll ever have. Often, the people we value the most withdraw from us, because they simply don’t know what to say or how to provide support.

As we adjust to painful new realities without a loved one, family relationships can fray. Sometimes, we don’t feel able to connect with others and just don’t have the energy or motivation to engage in the things we usually love.

In this session with Simon Blake OBE, Chair of Hospice UK’s Dying Matters campaign, we look at how we can navigate these feelings of loneliness and disconnection, and how we can create the right kind of community around us to get us through the darkest times.

Simon is joined by psychotherapist Julia Samuel MBE; Merissa Nathan Gerson (author of Forget Prayers, Bring Cake); Anneke Vedder, a psychotherapist at Utrecht University who is exploring the mutual connection between loneliness and bereavement; Mike Gray, who found support from Independent Age to manage the loneliness he faced after the death of his wife five years ago, and Priscilla Nkwenti who recently retired as CEO of Health Inequalities Charity BHA for Equality and who shared her experience of grief when her younger brother passed in the publication, Sisters and Brothers.


Julia Samuel MBE

Merissa Nathan Gerson

Simon Blake

Anneke Vedder

Mike Gray