The first part of this page deals with financial and practical assistance to those dealing with a bereavement.
The second part of this page deals with grief and it’s many forms.
The Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant is a once-off payment to widows, widowers or surviving civil partners with dependent children, or children in full time education. The current rate is €6000.
Where to apply:
Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension Section,
Department of Social Protection,
Pensions Services Offices,
Tel: (071) 915 7100
Locall: 1890 500 000
This information has been given by of Department of Social Protection and may be subject to change.
If a person dies because of an accident at work or occupational disease, Death Benefit may be paid to their dependants. It may also be paid to dependants if, at the time of their death, the person was getting Disability Pension for loss of at least half of their physical or mental ability, regardless of the cause of death.
If you were wholly or mainly dependent on your child for financial support, you may be entitled to a Dependent Parent’s Pension, if they die of a work-related illness or while receiving Disability Pension. This pension may be significantly reduced if your deceased child was married or in a civil partnership.
For further details on how to apply and eligibility rules visit the Dept. Of Social Protection website.
A person applying for this assistance must be in receipt of a social welfare payment. This financial assistance is means-tested and is payable at the discretion of the community welfare officer (CWO).
An application form may be obtained in the applicant’s local health centre. The CWO will then consider the status and means of the applicant and the deceased. The funeral invoice must be in the name of the applicant and all relevant details provided. A cheque, if issued, will then be made payable directly to the funeral director. For the latest information, please click here.
When a person dies while in receipt of a social welfare payment, the payment will usually continue to be paid to the surviving partner/carer for six weeks after the date of death if they are a named dependent/carer. Contact your local social welfare office for more information.If the death occurs of a current member of a credit union, who had joined between the ages of 16 and 70, they may be entitled to Death Benefit Insurance. The actual amount of insurance benefit may vary from one credit union to the other. The minimum benefit offered is €1,300 in the Republic of Ireland. The relevant Credit Union will supply more details on this matter.
Download Death Registration info
Department of Social Welfare
Sudden Infant Death Association
Children Going Through Bereavement
Examples of bereavement
Death of a child
Feelings of guilt, whether legitimate or not, are pervasive, and the dependent nature of the relationship disposes parents to a variety of problems as they seek to cope with this great loss. Parents who suffer miscarriage or a regretful or coerced abortion may experience resentment towards others who experience successful pregnancies.
Parents may feel they cannot openly discuss their grief and feel their emotions because of how their child died and how the people around them may perceive the situation. Parents, family members and service providers have all confirmed the unique nature of suicide-related bereavement following the loss of a child.
Death of a spouse
Many widows and widowers describe losing ‘half’ of themselves. A factor is the manner in which the spouse died. The survivor of a spouse who died of an illness has a different experience of such loss than a survivor of a spouse who died by an act of violence. Often, the spouse who is “left behind” may suffer from depression and loneliness, and may feel it necessary to seek professional help in dealing with their new life.
Furthermore, most couples have a division of ‘tasks’ or ‘labor’, e.g., the husband mows the yard, the wife pays the bills, etc. which, in addition to dealing with great grief and life changes, means added responsibilities for the bereaved. Planning and financing a funeral can be very difficult if pre-planning was not completed. Changes in insurance, bank accounts, claiming of life insurance, securing childcare can also be intimidating to someone who is grieving. Social isolation may also become imminent, as many groups composed of couples find it difficult to adjust to the new identity of the bereaved, and the bereaved themselves have great challenges in reconnecting with others. Widows of many cultures, for instance, wear black for the rest of their lives to signify the loss of their spouse and their grief. Only in more recent decades has this tradition been reduced to a period of two years, while some religions such as Christian Orthodox many widows will still continue to wear black for the remainder of their lives.
Death of a parent
For a child, the death of a parent, without support to manage the effects of the grief, may result in long-term psychological harm. This is more likely if the adult carers are struggling with their own grief and are psychologically unavailable to the child. There is a critical role of the surviving parent or caregiver in helping the children adapt to a parent’s death. However, losing a parent at a young age also has some positive effects. Some children had an increased maturity, better coping skills and improved communication. Adolescents who lost a parent valued other people more than those who have not experienced such a close loss.
When an adult child loses a parent in later adulthood, it is considered to be “timely” and to be a normative life course event. This allows the adult children to feel a permitted level of grief. However, research shows that the death of a parent in an adult’s midlife is not a normative event by any measure, but is a major life transition causing an evaluation of one’s own life or mortality. Others may shut out friends and family in processing the loss of someone with whom they have had the longest relationship.
Death of a sibling
Grieving siblings are often referred to as the ‘forgotten mourners’ who are made to feel as if their grief is not as severe as their parents’ grief (N.a., 2015). However, the sibling relationship tends to be the longest significant relationship of the lifespan and siblings who have been part of each other’s lives since birth, such as twins, help form and sustain each other’s identities; with the death of one sibling comes the loss of that part of the survivor’s identity because “your identity is based on having them there.”
If siblings were not on good terms or close with each other, then intense feelings of guilt may ensue on the part of the surviving sibling (guilt may also ensue for having survived, not being able to prevent the death, having argued with their sibling, etc.)
Loss during childhood
When a parent or caregiver dies or leaves, children may have symptoms of psychopathology, but they are less severe than in children with major depression. The loss of a parent, grandparent or sibling can be very troubling in childhood, but even in childhood there are age differences in relation to the loss. A very young child, under one or two, may be found to have no reaction if a carer dies, but other children may be affected by the loss.
At a time when trust and dependency are formed, even mere separation can cause problems in well-being. This is especially true if the loss is around critical periods such as 8–12 months, when attachment and separation are at their height and even a brief separation from a parent or other caregiver can cause distress.
Even as a child grows older, death is still difficult to fathom and this affects how a child responds. For example, younger children see death more as a separation, and may believe death is curable or temporary. Reactions can manifest themselves in “acting out” behaviors, a return to earlier behaviors such as thumb sucking, clinging to a toy or angry behavior. Though they do not have the maturity to mourn as an adult, they feel the same intensity. As children enter pre-teen and teen years, there is a more mature understanding.
Adolescents may respond by delinquency, or oppositely become “over-achievers”. Repetitive actions are not uncommon such as washing a car repeatedly or taking up repetitive tasks such as sewing, computer games, etc. It is an effort to stay above the grief. Childhood loss can predispose a child not only to physical illness but to emotional problems and an increased risk for suicide, especially in the adolescent period.
Children can experience grief as a result of losses due to causes other than death. For example, children who have been physically, psychologically or sexually abused often grieve over the damage to or the loss of their ability to trust. Since such children usually have no support or acknowledgement from any source outside the family unit, this is likely to be experienced as disenfranchised grief.
Relocations can cause children significant grief particularly if they are combined with other difficult circumstances such as neglectful or abusive parental behaviors, other significant losses, etc.
Loss of a friend or classmate
Children may experience the death of a friend or a classmate through illness, accidents, suicide, or violence. Initial support involves reassuring children that their emotional and physical feelings are normal.
Survivor guilt (or survivor’s guilt; also called survivor syndrome or survivor’s syndrome) is a mental condition that occurs when a person perceives themselves to have done wrong by surviving a traumatic event when others did not. It may be found among survivors of combat, natural disasters, epidemics, among the friends and family of those who have died by suicide, and in non-mortal situations such as among those whose colleagues are laid off.
Many of the above examples of bereavement happen abruptly, but there are also cases of being gradually bereft of something or someone. For example, the gradual loss of a loved one by Alzheimer’s produces a “gradual grief.” 
This page is regularly updated to provide current, relevant information, please call back again soon.