One in four bereaved adults tackle grief completely alone

During what is an immensely difficult time when dealing with the loss of a loved one, MetLife’s The Last Word report reveals that upsettingly, one in four (23%) bereaved adults grieve alone and don’t turn to anyone for comfort and support.

National Grief Awareness Week (December 2 - December 8, 2023) aims to raise awareness of the widespread impact of grief each year. This is an important initiative, aiming to encourage open conversations about grief and loss, something that many people need support with in and out of the workplace.

We found that more than a third (36%) of UK adults have experienced a bereavement in the last two years1. A quarter (27%) lost a friend, one in five (20%) lost a parent, and one in six (16%) had a grandparent pass away. And, while the majority (39%) turned to their partner or spouse for comfort – sadly, a worrying number of individuals experienced the loss of a loved one without any form of adequate support.

MetLife’s Last Word report also found:

  • Of those who helped plan a funeral recently, 51% weren’t aware of any wishes from the deceased.
  • More than half (53%) of UK adults haven’t spoken to anyone about taking on the responsibility of planning their funeral when they are no longer here.
  • A fifth (22%) admitted they don’t talk about death or future planning because they don’t want to think about it, while 14% don’t talk about it because they find it too uncomfortable to talk about.

Adrian Matthews, Head of Employee Benefits at MetLife UK said: “Grief is a very personal experience. It can bring on a rollercoaster of emotions all while having to navigate practical decisions. The death of a loved one can be an incredibly challenging time and having nobody to turn to can make a devastating situation even more difficult.

“Grief Awareness Week highlights just how important it is to support our family, friends, colleagues when experiencing loss. Nobody should have to grieve alone and knowing where to access resources in and out the office can be a real lifeline. With simple and frequent communication to their workforce, employers can ensure employees feel supported in times of grief, have an outlet to turn to, and importantly, let them know they’re not alone.”

“At MetLife, we are committed to supporting a bigger role in helping families navigate grief. Through our latest Group Life offering, and partnership with Everest Funeral Concierge, we offer access to services to help people consider, plan, navigate and carry out funeral planning, including a free will writing service, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There is no greater gift than getting your considerations and plans in place so that when the time comes, you allow your family more time to grieve.”

Notes to Editors:
Research carried out by Opinium in March 2023 sampling 2,000 adults who have experienced a bereavement in the last two years.

For further information about MetLife please contact:
Jessica Riley

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MetLife Europe d.a.c. is a private company limited by shares, registered in Ireland under company number 415123. Registered office at 20 on Hatch, Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. UK branch office at Invicta House, Trafalgar Place, Brighton BN1 4FR. Branch establishment number: BR008866. MetLife Europe d.a.c. (trading as MetLife) is authorised and regulated by Central Bank of Ireland. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request.