Coping with Bereavement

Bereavement means simply losing someone through death. It could be one of your parents, grandparents, brothers or sisters, teachers, or friends – anyone who is important to you. The feelings you can have after a bereavement can be scary and confusing. However you might feel, it is important you get the right kind of support.

Dealing with your emotions when someone close to you has died is really tough, and there’s a number of feelings that you can go through. There isn’t a right way to cope with someone dying – everyone reacts differently.

If someone has died unexpectedly, you may feel shocked and confused about why it has happened. You can also feel angry that someone has been taken from you.

If an elderly relative or someone who has had a long illness dies, your feelings may be just the same even if you have been preparing for it. You can also feel relieved that someone you loved is no longer suffering from their condition.

Key points

  • A bereaved young person may appear to be grieving like an adult but they are not an adult and should be treated as a young person.
  • The bereaved young person shouldn’t be burdened with tasks that a responsible adult can undertake.
  • Grieving young people may prefer to speak with their friends or people outside of the immediate family about the death. This should be encouraged.
  • Due to the developmental changes that a young person will be undergoing, the emotions related to the death of someone close may be very intense.
  • The young person needs to be encouraged to express how they are feeling and the emotions they are encountering.

Source: Direct.gov, Cruse Bereavement Care

Read more

  • about RD4U @ rd4u.org.uk

    Excerpt: The Youth Involvement Project is part of Cruse Bereavement Care, and is there specifically for young people who have been affected by someone’s death. It was formed because we want to make sure that we are offering the right kind of support to young people. We have developed different ways of supporting young people after someone close to them has died. These include our website, the freephone number and peer support.

    For help contact: Freephone 0808 808 1677 / info@rd4u.org.uk / interact

  • Coping with death @ Direct.gov

    Excerpt: It’s really important that you talk to people to help you deal with your grief – you don’t have to try and get through the situation by yourself. If a member of your family has died, your parents or other relatives may be having similar feelings. Sharing your thoughts with them may help you come to terms with the death. Some of your friends may have gone through a similar experience themselves, so talking to them can also help you understand what you’re going through.