Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for bereaved people when there is such a focus on loved ones coming together to celebrate and look forward to a new year.

The Cruse Bereavement Care helpline will be open every day from Monday 21st December through to New Year’s Day. All the opening hours can be found on the Cruse website

The number to call is 0844 477 9400.

Calls cost 7 pence per minute, plus the person’s telephone provider’s access charge. If the cost of the call prevents you from contacting Cruse please let them know by phone or email and Cruse will call you back.

Cruse is campaigning to raise £20,000 for the Cruse Helpline, to fund this vital service over Christmas and into the New Year. The letter below is from Stephanie, who has been supported by Cruse and who is now a volunteer with the charity.

My fiancé died in June 2012 three months before we were due to get married. We were on holiday in France and Alberto just popped out to have dinner with his brother.  He was involved in a fatal car accident and never returned. 

The next week was a complete blur as I tried to cope with the loss of my fiancé and the practicalities of bringing his body back home. But after the funeral I was really struggling and so a close friend did some research for me and found Cruse Bereavement Care.  I was seen by a bereavement volunteer called Anni and I can honestly say without her support I don’t know where I would be.  She really did save my life. 

Grief doesn’t take a break for Christmas and New Year.

I didn’t celebrate that first Christmas; instead I went and helped at a charity for the day.  I couldn’t face sitting around a table trying to be happy.  Family members find it difficult when they see you upset so you try to hide it from them.  But you need a space to cry – Cruse allowed that and was a witness to my pain and now this year I have trained to be a volunteer on the Cruse helpline to be there for others when someone dies.

If you would like to support Cruse you can donate at or by texting CMAS49 followed by the amount you want to give, either £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070.