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Following the heartbreaking death of Rob Burrow CBE, we know many people within the rugby league family will be experiencing grief and a sense of loss.  


These feelings, which are entirely natural, may come from the cruel circumstances of Rob’s death at the age of 41, or could be triggered by our own personal experiences. 



Bereavement, grief and loss can cause many different symptoms and they affect all of us in different ways. It is important to remember there is no right or wrong way to feel. 


Some of the most common symptoms of grief include: 


  • Shock and numbness – this is usually the first reaction to loss, and people often talk about being ‘in a daze’;

  • Overwhelming sadness, with lots of crying;

  • Tiredness or exhaustion;

  • Anger – towards the person you've lost or the reason for your loss;

  • Guilt – for example, guilt about feeling angry, about something you said or did not say, or not being able to stop your loved one dying. 

These emotions may not be there all the time, and powerful feelings may appear unexpectedly. It's not always easy to recognise when bereavement, grief or loss are the reason you're acting or feeling differently.


Here are a few things you can try to help with bereavement, grief and loss: 



  • Try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor – there are a number of organisations listed on our website here;

  • If you're struggling to sleep, get sleep tips from Every Mind Matters;

  • Consider talking to others around you, people who have experienced the same thing. Sharing our experiences openly can help you and others; 

  • Make sure you spend time looking after yourself. Do things that you know make you ‘feel well’, such as, eating healthily, spending time with loved ones, spending time in nature, being active and paying attention to the positives in your life. 


  • Do not try to do everything at once – set small targets that you can easily achieve.
  • Do not focus on the things you cannot change – focus your time and energy into helping yourself feel better; 
  • Try not to tell yourself that you're alone – most people feel grief after a loss and support is available;
  • Try not to use alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or drugs to relieve grief – these can all contribute to poor mental health.

Further information and support 

You can find further information and support about: 




"I guess by now I should know enough about loss to realise that you never really stop missing someone - you just learn to live around the huge gaping hole of their absence"


- Alyson Noel



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