Dealing with the loss of a loved one

Dealing with the loss of a loved one

The Electrical Industries Charity shares Pete and Dawn’s story

Life can change in a blink of an eye, turning our world upside down and leaving us struggling to get by. One minute we could be having the time of our lives and suddenly this could be taken away by a traumatic loss of a loved one.

Losing someone you have planned to share the rest of your life with to suicide can be extremely challenging in many ways. Added difficulties such as financial issues, feelings of isolation, shock and confusion can be very tough to manage and can often lead to a deterioration of mental health.

The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) understands how important a support network can be to someone who is struggling to deal with the sudden loss of a loved one, and for this reason the Charity launched the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). The Charity’s Programme ensures that employees and their immediate family members have a shoulder to lean on at the most difficult times, by offering them vital support services including bereavement counselling, legal advice and financial assistance and grants.

Recently through EAP, the Charity supported Dawn, who had lost her beloved husband Pete to suicide, during their honeymoon.

Newly married, 31-year-old Pete worked in the electrical industry for RWE in Cardiff and had been suffering from mental health problems for four years. He had sought help from his GP but did not feel he had received enough support from health professionals in the process.

Pete was a lifelong sufferer of Crohn’s Disease and other severe conditions which meant that his digestive system was inflamed. Although doctors were treating him for his conditions, they were not giving him the injections needed to help alleviate the pain that he was experiencing on a daily basis.

He was also struggling with financial difficulties from the breakdown of his first marriage. The financial worries he had, combined with the pain that he was in, began to take its toll on him both mentally and physically. These feelings began to escalate as he felt as though he had not been listened to or adequately supported by his GP. Pete felt in a hopeless situation and that there was nothing he could do to make it better.

He had recently married Dawn, and the newlyweds were on their honeymoon in Greece. Tragically, just two days into their honeymoon, Pete committed suicide. Dawn was distraught after losing her husband, one minute they were celebrating their marriage and suddenly her husband was taken away from her.

It was a very traumatic time for Dawn who had to cope with the unexpected loss of her husband. Pete had used her shoulder medicine to complete suicide with and she was close to suffering from a post-traumatic stress disorder.

On top of the emotional distress Dawn had financial issues to contend with. Their travel insurance company was refusing to cover the costs to repatriate Pete home to the UK, and she did not have the financial means to cover this herself. Dawn did not have access to Pete’s bank details, and the mortgage was in his name as they had just got married. This left Dawn in the devastating position of not being able to afford to bring her husband home or to be able to pay for his funeral.

To make matters worse, the process of obtaining Pete’s death certificate was delayed due to different procedures in Greece than those in the UK which meant that planning for the funeral was put on hold and she was left in limbo worrying if she would lose the house.

Pete’s employer got in touch with EIC and within a day of Dawn returning home to the UK, the Charity went to see her. EIC provided Dawn with an emergency grant of £2,000 to cover her immediate bills and paid her mortgage direct to the mortgage company each month. Additionally, the Charity also covered the funeral expenses and organised legal support as Pete passed away without writing a will. The legal support is for probate over three months as the case is highly complex.

EIC offered Dawn bereavement counselling to help her to cope with this heartbreaking and challenging situation. She continues to have ongoing support and the Charity has assisted the whole family emotionally and through complicated legal procedures.

The shock and grief that consumes you after you lose someone to suicide is overwhelming and can trigger a host of complicated and confusing emotions as well as bringing financial difficulties that can be hard to manage. The Electrical Industries Charity’s Employee Assistance Programme helps to manage situations like Dawn’s and offers much-needed support to enable those left behind to continue to live their lives after the loss of a loved one.

You too can show your support to those who are dealing with the traumatic effects of suicide by signing up to become a partner of the Employee Assistance Programme and help EIC to support many more people like Dawn who are experiencing personal difficulties.

For further information or to show your support, please contact Jess Vailima: or visit:

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