Losing someone who is important to you is one of life’s biggest challenges, no matter your age. This is known as ‘a bereavement’.

Losing a loved one can be even more difficult if you’ve never experienced anything like this before.

It can also feel lonely if none of your friends have gone through anything similar and don’t understand or know what to say or do to help you.

How does it feel?

When someone dies, it is normal to experience grief.

Everyone will grieve differently. There are no rules about what emotions you should feel or for how long.

It is really common to feel a mixture of:

  • Sadness
  • Shock, especially if the death was unexpected
  • Relief, if the death followed a long period of illness
  • Guilt
  • Confusion
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Despair and helplessness
  • Depression

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

Though grief is most common when someone has died, any loss can cause grief, including:

  • Break up of a friendship or relationship
  • Losing a job
  • A miscarriage
  • The death of a pet or animal you love
  • When someone you love and trust is seriously ill

What can I do?

Talking about your feelings is an important part of recovering from the death of a loved one.

It is completely up to you who to speak to as only you know how you are feeling.

  • A member of your family may be a good person to open up to if you’ve lost another family member as they will understand how you’re feeling. It might be nice to share your memories of your loved one. Your family will also be grieving, so this may help them too.
  • A close friend can also be a good listener, even if they haven’t experienced a bereavement themselves.
  • There are several helplines that will be able to help you, including Childline, Cruse Bereavement, Hope Again and Meic.

It’s really important to look after yourself (both physically and emotionally) during this time.

  • Taking regular exercise and eating well will give you the mind space to process your feelings.
  • Take time everyday to relax, do something you enjoy and think about how you are feeling.
  • Write down or do some art inspired by 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.

We also have some resources below that we recommend you look at.