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 about it.”

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.

Problematic Grief

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.

How you can help

It is easy for young people to think they are the only ones who have lost someone and that no one else understands them, but talking to other people will help ease the process. Talk to your child about what has happened as much as they want to, and encourage friends or a teacher to be there for them too. It may help if they talk to a bereavement counsellor.

Make sure the school knows of their loss and that they will need time and understanding as they work through their feelings. If you too are suffering, then it is going to be especially hard for you to not only deal with your own emotions, but those of your children too. Try to keep talking to each other, so you can share your grief, rather than each of you grieving alone.

Useful Contats

www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk
0844 477 9400

The Linden Centre

01253 595552

Snowdrop Centre

01253 760636