Our second training day with Cruse found me facing things I hadn’t really considered fully in the past. It made me realise that sometimes we only scratch the surface of others lives, not wholly understanding the far reaching effects of loss for many people.

We talked about some scenarios of death and loss; one of which was a daughter of someone, also a married mother of two children, killed in an unexpected accident. We were asked to consider who and what her loss impacted on, how far it stretched and for whom/what was no longer there with her absence.

The more obvious answers came immediately to mind easily. As a parent of two children, her children were left without a mother. As a wife, her husband loses his partner. Her mother lost her daughter (as would her father were he still alive) and her friends would also be impacted, losing someone they may have been close to.

We then thought further of work colleagues if she worked. We considered she may be a voluntary helper to some elderly person or support group, and they too faced a significant loss. We realised that her mother and children may be dependent on her for driving/travelling needs e.g. school runs, shopping. We thought about who took care of the household things like cooking, cleaning, bill paying. If her husband worked full time this may well have been her. The list kept growing.   One person’s demise causing so much loss for so many.

It certainly makes me far more aware now that when I do eventually meet bereaved clients, there may well be a whole raft of practical issues for them to face behind the scenes, and a lot of other people deeply affected too. It’s reminded me to keep a very open mind and to be prepared for far more than the obvious.

It also reminded me of what might be my own value to my family, friends and colleagues. I had already considered how difficult it would be for my children to lose a mum, my husband to lose his partner of 28 years, my dad to lose his daughter and my...