Losing a loved one
If you have been bereaved you may be feeling a range of emotions. However you are feeling, we are glad that you have found this page with tips and advice that can help and suggestions of websites that provide further support.
facts about grief
Grief is normal
Grief is the normal response when you experience a significant bereavement. When someone close dies, you will experience grief. However, saying grief is normal does not reduce the difficulty of dealing with this experience. It may be one of the most challenging experiences of your life.
The worst kind of grief is YOURS
Grief is very personal. When you lose someone close, it hurts. Nothing takes away from your right to feel the loss and grief of the absence of that person in your life.
The way out of grief is through it
Grief is painful. There is no way around it. What can help is using the support of family, friends and local support groups to find the courage to go through it.
Grief is hard work
It requires more energy than you may expect. It can affect us physically as well as emotionally. This is why you can feel exhausted and uninterested in people and events around you.
Grief is unpredictable
You may feel a variety of emotions in response to grief, not just the expected sadness and crying. In fact, you may not feel able to cry. You may feel angry, confused, anxious. Everyone’s experience is different and unpredictable.
Tips from other young people
Below are some suggestions from other young people who have been bereaved. You might find some of these useful now, or in the future. If none of these seem to be helping, talk to someone you trust to get some more ideas and support.
What I can do…
- Tell people what help make me feel better and keeps me feeling safe.
- Ask ……………… for support and help whenever I need it.
- Ask questions about what happened. I need the facts to help me understand and talking about it will help.
- Share with others that sometimes I think I am to blame, even if it doesn’t make sense.
- Remind myself that, like the seasons, things will change.
- Tell an adult if I feel helpless and hopeless about the future. They can talk to me about what might help.
- Think about what ‘I can do’ and then ‘just do it’, rather than thinking ‘if only.’
- Find different ways of expressing my feelings by exercising, writing, listening to or playing music, and carrying on with my interests.
- Find out about groups and support for children or young people who are also coping with loss and change – and go along.
- Remind myself that I am not going crazy. My sleeping, eating, thinking, remembering, concentration and motivation will be up and down.
- Ask for whatever extra help I may need in school. Talk to my teachers about my hopes for the future.Tell a trusted adult if anyone is giving me a hard time or hurting me. I will carry on telling adults until things change for the better.
- Ask to be included in planning the funeral and in important decisions that are going to affect me.Keep something special that belonged to the person and start a memory box or book to help remember them.
- Do something special on anniversaries that will help me remember and cope with what has happened.Talk to the person that has died in my imagination. This may help me say things that I never got the chance to say. It may also help me feel still connected to them in some way as they were a part of my life.
- Look after myself and allow time for sleeping, eating, resting, thinking and relaxing.Laugh and have fun without feeling guilty or bad about it. This doesn’t mean that I am ‘over it’, have ‘forgotten’ or ‘couldn’t care’.
Seeking help and support
You can talk with your school nurse who will provide help and support.
Local charity Jigsaw (South East) have specialist bereavement counsellors and run family support groups. They also support children and young people who are facing the loss of a loved one. Visit the Jigsaw South East website for more information.