Facing loneliness after the loss of a loved one

When Wayne's wife of 32 years passed away, he found support and friendship through the 'More than Words' project.

Wayne O’Hanlon, 52, was married for 32 years and lost his wife, Elaine, very suddenly in March 2018.

She went to the hospital with a sore throat but her condition rapidly deteriorated and within days Wayne was told there was nothing they could do to save her, her life support was switched off and she passed away.

The couple have three children – two grown-up sons and a teenage daughter as well as three grandchildren – and the family has been left bereft by Elaine’s sudden passing.

Wayne accessed support from Cruse Bereavement Care after finding out about their ‘More Than Words’ project, set up to tackle loneliness and funded by the British Red Cross' successful partnership with the Co-op, which lasted until 2019.

As part of the ‘More than Words’ project, the emphasis is on peer-led groups that have social events and outings. While people will be helped to talk about their experiences of bereavement, this is not a necessity to attend – the emphasis is more on making new connections and getting out and about alongside people who will understand what you are going through. Groups will be led by Cruse ‘champions’ – volunteers who have experienced bereavement themselves and received training in supporting others. They may organise visits to local coffee shops, museums, or parks.

Find out more about our work on loneliness.

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