Losing someone who is important to you is really hard. It is one of life’s biggest challenges, no matter how old you are. This is known as ‘a bereavement’.

Losing a loved one can be even harder if this has never happened to you before.

It can also feel lonely if it hasn’t happened to any of your friends as they can’t understand how you are feeling.

How does it feel?

When someone dies, it is normal to experience grief.

Everyone will feel grief differently. There are no rules about what to feel or for how long.

It is really common to feel a mixture of:

  •  Sadness
  •  Shock
  •  Relief, if the death was due to a long-term illness
  •  Guilt
  •  Anger
  •  Anxiety
  •  Helplessness

These feelings will be felt the most in the early days and weeks after your loss. With time, these emotions will start to fade.

Grief is most common when someone has died. However, any loss can cause grief, including:

  •  Losing a friendship
  •  The death of a pet or animal you love
  •  When someone you love is seriously ill

What can I do?

Talking about your feelings is very important. You decide who you speak to and only you know how you are feeling.

  •  A family member may be a good person to talk to if you have lost another family member. This is because they will understand how you are feeling. It might be nice to share memories of your loved one. Your family will also be upset and grieving, so this may help them too.
  •  A close friend can also be a good person to talk to, even if this hasn’t happened to them.
  •  Write down or do some art about your memories or feelings about the person who has died.
  •  Write a letter to the person who has died to tell them the things you want to say to them.
  •  There are helplines that can you can contact. They include Childline, Cruse Bereavement, Hope Again and Meic.

It’s also really important to look after yourself during this time.

  •  Take regular exercise and eat well
  •  Take time everyday to relax. Try to do something you enjoy and think about how you are feeling.
  •  It’s ok if you need some extra help during this time. Speak to someone you trust, speak to your doctor or check out the resources below for some ideas on where to start.