Bereavement, Grief, and Loss

Muscular Dystrophy UK provides support to children and adults in the UK, who are affected by more than 60 rare and very rare progressive muscle-weakening and wasting conditions. We are also here to support families through bereavement, grief, and loss. We’re here to help or simply to listen if you want to talk. You can call us on our free helpline, which is open from Monday to Thursday, 10am to 2pm (0800 652 6352). You can also email us at

Bereavement and loss can affect everyone differently, and there is no right or wrong way to feel. Grief is the range of emotions we experience, and the process that we go through, in reaction to bereavement or loss. Grief can be very complex, and there are different types of grief that you may experience in response to bereavement or loss.

  • Anticipatory grief is the grief that we feel before death or loss occurs, when we are anticipating or expecting it to happen.
  • Secondary loss is other losses you experience because of bereavement (primary loss). For example, the loss of future experiences.
  • Collective grief is a loss that is shared amongst a group or community when they experience the impact of death or loss together.

Generally, people expect to be very upset or distressed when someone close to them has died. However, what can be surprising is how strong and variable emotions can be and how long they can last. The way in which a person grieves is unique to them, their circumstances, and their connection to the person who has died.

We know that no-one can understand exactly what your loss feels like to you. However, we also know that, sometimes, it can be easier to talk to someone who is not directly connected to you, about the impact of bereavement, grief, and loss on your life. This is why we offer the GriefChat service.

GriefChat is an organisation that supports Muscular Dystrophy UK to provide access to free professional bereavement support. GriefChat helps those dealing with grief by providing them with a safe space to be able to share their story and explore their feelings. GriefChat is open Monday – Friday, 9am – 9pm (except for Bank holidays). During those hours, GriefChat provide a live instant chat service with a qualified bereavement counsellor. Email access is provided at other times and will be responded to by the end of the next working day.

You can access GriefChat through the instant chat box at the bottom right-hand side of this page.