Loss of a close friend, family member or fellow student can have a very significant emotional impact on you. This can often affect your mental wellbeing and can make maintaining a consistent academic, social and work life very challenging. NUI Galway fully understands this and appreciates the significance of it on students and staff. Anything that can be done to make the bereavement process easier for students and staff will be done to best of the university’s ability.

I will be missing a week of college due to having to travel for a funeral.  What should I do?

Mention the situation to your school or lecturers. Generally they will understand the situation and, if possible, they will send any relevant notes, slides, reading lists for a particular week to you individually. If you will be missing a class test or an assignment deadline then, again, discuss it with your tutor or lecturer and an alternative assignment or deadline should be arranged.

I am really struggling to cope with the passing away of someone close to me and don’t know how to approach my feelings on it.

If there are other people around you who knew and were close to that person, then it may be helpful to discuss your emotions and feelings of bereavement with them. It’s not unlikely that they are feeling much the same way and it may be of great benefit to both of you to get feelings out in the open, so that they can be handled, confronted, accepted and eventually eased. If there is no such person whom you feel you can talk to, then speaking to the Student Counselling Service, Chaplaincy or Student Health Unit may help. They will more than happy to speak to you in an open, non-judgemental, understanding way with the intention of helping you coming to terms with loss and allowing yourself to overcome the emotions that have been getting to you around it.

For more information on Bereavement and Grief, please address NUI Galway’s ‘Well Connected’ page on the matter.