Losing a loved one fills us with pain, sadness and perhaps even anger. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve and we all deal with death in our own way…
Grief can feel completely overwhelming and incredibly difficult. You may feel a range of emotions when someone dies and that’s perfectly normal.
Feelings You Might Have:
- Denial. You may initially refuse to believe that someone has died. This is your body’s way of protecting you from feeling overwhelmed as you try to process the shock and emotions that crash over you.
- Sadness. You can feel a deep sadness that you will never see that person again.
- Numb. Many people feel numbness after a death. You may feel unable to cry or struggle to express sadness.
- Anger. You may feel angry at the person for dying and leaving you.
- Relief. You may feel a sense of relief at a person’s passing, especially if they were in poor health for some time, or in pain.
- Guilt. You may experience guilt for being relieved that someone has passed. You might not have had the best of relationships with the deceased or have feelings of regret that you didn’t say or do something while that person was still alive.
- Scared and/or shocked. The news of the death may have come as a great shock to you or you may feel frightened about what lies ahead in the journey of grief.
Remember, grief is as unique and individual as you are, so don’t worry if you don’t have the exact same experience as someone else.
Grief And You
Your grief can often feel overwhelming and will change over time. There’s no concrete path for grief but it tends to come in stages. The most important thing to keep in mind is that it takes time.
Grief can be very complex, popping up when we least expect it. A photo or song might spark sadness and memories. You might start to feel a lot better and then be taken by surprise by a wave of grief all over again. These are normal ways to feel and it doesn’t mean that you’re not coping with the loss of a loved one. Recovering and moving on takes time and isn’t always straightforward. Be patient and kind to yourself by:
- Looking after your health. Try to eat well and get plenty of rest. If you’re struggling to sleep, try a sleep app or read our helpful guide here. Exercise can help, too, and even a short walk can go a long way to making you feel a little better.
- Talking it out. Get support by sharing your feelings with family and friends and don’t suffer alone. If you’re worried about upsetting your family, you might want to talk to a teacher or someone you don’t know, like a counsellor. You can talk anonymously to Childline on 0800 11 11.
Finding Your Way Through
There is no right or wrong way to cope but you might find it helpful to ask questions to help you process the situation. It’s perfectly normal to have lots of questions.
Sometimes parents want to shield younger members of the family from the loss and sadness, such as attending a funeral. You may, or may not, want to attend the funeral. Some people find they can get a sense of closure from a funeral service while others find it too distressing or upsetting. Do what feels best for you, if you have the choice.
However you cope, whatever you choose to do, please know that you are not alone. You can get further help here: