Loss and bereavement
“Since his father died, my son seems to have disappeared into his own little world. I
desperately want to help him but I don’t know what to do, he just doesn’t want to talk to me
Loss is losing someone who you are close too, whether it’s a relative’s death, a death of a pet, or their
best friend moving away. These can have a real impact on your child.
Young people need a lot of support and understanding to help them work through their grief. There is
no right or wrong way to react and everyone handles things in different ways.
Their behaviour may change as they deal with their emotions and try to come to terms with their loss.
They may find it hard to cope with day-to-day life. They may take their anger out on you, get into
trouble at school, find it hard to do schoolwork or want to go out with friends more. Grief can take
many different forms.
There will be a range of feelings your child is likely to go through:
- Numbness as they try to understand that someone is really not coming back.
- Anger at the person who left or died, at you, at others or themselves.
- Guilt possibly blaming themselves in some way, or feeling guilty because
they don’t think they’re grieving ‘enough’.
- Fear that the world as they know it has changed forever.
- Sadness at never seeing that person again,
- Relief, if the person who died was in pain or suffering.
- Depressed, feeling that life has lost all meaning.
Give your child as much time and patience as they need to cope with the loss. Most children and
adults will get through the grieving process with support from family and friends. If you think they are
having long-term difficulties, think about getting support for your child.
There are people who you can speak to such as your GP, health professionals and school.