15 March 2023

  • 29% of people across the UK that have experienced a bereavement within the last five years have lost a parent, whilst 2% are grieving the death of a child
  • As almost a third (31%) of people that have experienced a death within the last five years said it had impacted their mental wellbeing, Mother’s Day can often bring back feelings of grief
  • This Mother’s Day, Co-op and their bereavement partner, Cruse Bereavement Support, want to offer advice for those struggling during this time

As we approach this year’s Mother’s Day, Co-op Funeralcare and Cruse Bereavement Support are offering support to those who find Mother’s Day difficult. It comes as new research from Co-op finds that amongst those people across the UK who have experienced a bereavement in the last five years, almost a third (29%) are grieving the death of a parent, whilst 2% have experienced the death of a child.

And whilst losing a loved one under any circumstances is always heart breaking, the research, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Co-op, found that the loss experienced by almost half (48%) of these people had been sudden and unexpected, which can often intensify these feelings of grief.

Dealing with the death of a parent or loved one is always difficult, and for most people it is often following the funeral that is the biggest struggle, as they begin to deal with life without them.

In fact, the research by Co-op found that worryingly almost a third (31%) of people that experienced a bereavement within the last five years said it had impacted their mental wellbeing, while 15% said they had been left feeling isolated and/or lonely.

And with Mother’s Day often acting as a reminder for those that are grieving the death of a parent or child, it can often worsen those feelings of loneliness and isolation, regardless of whether the experience is recent or not.

This year, Co-op wants to support those who may be struggling at this time, through its partnership with Cruse Bereavement Support, who, through their website, provide useful support for those that may have suffered the loss of a mother, grandmother, or child.

As part of this support, Cruse have included the following tips to help those struggling with their grief at this time of year navigate through the period:

  • Put yourself first – spend the day doing the things you enjoy, without feeling pressure to do anything you don’t want to
  • Put your feelings into words – Letter writing can help deal with grief, and writing down those feelings to a loved one that has died can help organise your thoughts
  • Hold a memorial - Lighting a candle, planting a flower, or visiting a place which was special to your loved one can be a great way to maintain a bond with someone that has died
  • Share their memory – whether it be getting together with family or friends, holding an event, or even setting up an online memorial page can be a great way to honour a loved one’s life
  • Talk to someone – talking can help, and whilst it might not always be easy to talk to a family member or friend, you can contact the Cruse helpline

And as talking with others can help those that have experienced the death of a loved one, through Co-op’s online community centre, Co-operate, people can find groups within their local area to help them reconnect with their community. Through its page on Grief and bereavement, people can access resources on how to support themselves and other with grief.

Steven Wibberley, Chief Executive at Cruse Bereavement Support said: “Mother’s Day can be a really difficult time for so many people, especially for those whose mums have died or for the mums whose children have died.

At a time when shops, restaurants and websites are full of mentions of Mother’s Day, seeing such public reminders of mums and children can be extremely difficult and triggering for those grieving.

That is why is it so important to both Cruse and our partners at Co-op Funeralcare, that bereaved mums and children feel supported this Mother’s Day. We know just how lonely grief can feel and want people to know there is help out there and they do not need to struggle alone.”

Gill Stewart, Co-op Funeral Managing Director, said: “With the celebration that comes with Mother’s Day, we also know that it can bring back feelings of grief for those that have experienced the death of a parent.

“And whilst mums can teach and prepare us for almost everything, the one thing they can’t prepare us for is how to live without them. Which is why Co-op Funeralcare, alongside our bereavement partner Cruse, want to support those struggling with grief to help them navigate through this Mother’s Day.

“We’ve seen from our research that dealing with a death can have such a large impact on a person’s mental wellbeing, which is why this Mother’s Day, we want to provide a place where no one must deal with bereavement alone.”


For media enquiries, please email pressoffice@coop.co.uk

Notes to editors

Survey findings Calculated using ONS UK adult figures and You Gov fieldwork *YouGov fieldwork undertaken on 28th – 31st October 2022. Total sample size was 2053 adults of which 1030 UK adults have experienced the bereavement of a loved one in the last 5 years The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

About Co-op:

Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates over 2,500 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,000 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited. Employing almost 60,000 people, the Co-op has an annual turnover of over £11billion and is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes. The Co-op exists to meet members’ needs and stand up for the things they believe in.

About Cruse Bereavement Support:

Cruse Bereavement Support is the UK’s leading bereavement charity for people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We help people through one of the most painful times in life – with bereavement support, information and campaigning. We are here to make sure that everyone grieving gets the support they need, when they need it. You can access our services through our website, national helpline (0808 808 1677), group, zoom, telephone or one-to-one in person support. We have a specially trained, dedicated team of 4,000 bereavement volunteers and also provide training and consultancy for external organisations and for those who may encounter bereaved people in the course of their work.

Click here for support and information. You’re not alone.