When a Community Grieves: Nicola Bulley’s Lancashire Village
The ripple effect on the community will be felt for a long time
Our heart goes out to the family and friends of Nicola Bulley, and the wider community today, as the news sinks in that the mother-of-two isn’t coming home.
The ripple effect on this community will be felt for a long time to come. St Michael’s on Wyre isn’t just an anonymous Lancashire village anymore. It is now a known place on a map, now renowned for a tragic reason, and the fabric of the community is changed.
The spotlight over the past few weeks on the community has already shown how close-knit it is. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone. However, while they await the details that led to Nicola’s death, they may also be experiencing a level of anxiety and a loss of safety.
If you were related to, or were friends with Nicola, you may feel robbed of someone who should have had years left to live. You may feel at a loss because you were unable to say goodbye to her.
Guilt is also a normal reaction, especially with a sudden loss. If her death was related to her menopause symptoms, you might be left wondering if there was anything you could have done differently or better to support her. Please know all these feelings are normal reactions.
Those who found her, and those who had to formally identify her body may experience another layer of trauma, including flash-backs. Please reach out to us if you need support.
If you’re from the wider community, it’s also important to acknowledge your feelings of this loss. Think of ways you can gather as a community to support each other. Is there a local church where you could light candles, for instance? Is there a community hall where you could talk over a cuppa and share your feelings in a safe space? Is there anything you can do for the family, such as taking over meals in the short term, or a memorial bench, or a special service of remembrance in the longer term?
You might experience feelings of anger, sadness, numbness, or helplessness. You may find that you have trouble sleeping, concentrating, eating, or remembering even simple tasks. It’s important to recognise them as normal reactions in times of trauma, and the way you process grief is valid. Take care of yourself, recognise what it is that you need, reach out to friends and family for support when you need to, and connect with us via social media or email if you need additional help.