How to Deal With the Death of Someone Close to You

After a death we grieve as we come to terms with the shock of the news.

How will I feel?

During the grieving process you will feel a number of emotions which you may have never experienced before. You need time to adjust and recover from what has happened.

Although everyone reacts differently, we each go through a series of bereavement stages. These include; shock, guilt and regret, anger, anxiety, depression, helplessness and then acceptance.

Being a teenager is a difficult and emotional time. When someone dies it may feel as if your world is crashing around you as you come to terms with that person no longer being around, be it a school friend, family friend, a parent, or a sibling.

You may also experience feelings of loneliness and the desire to be apart from your friends. However, people do react to death in different ways.

What can I do to get through a loss?

  • According to the NHS, one of the best things you can do is, express yourself. Talking can help soften any painful feelings you may have. 
  • Allow yourself to feel sad. Being sad is only natural in this circumstance, and crying is actually helpful as it releases tension.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is essential for recovering from the emotional strain which has been caused from the grief. Easier said than done sometimes, no matter what kind of loss you’ve experienced, if you’re having trouble sleeping, SleepAdvisor have a great resource on Understanding the Effects of Grief on Sleep.
  • Keep living your life. Staying busy can help take your mind off what has happened and help keep your mind from depressing thoughts.
  • Get by with a little help from your friends. Again, socialising with friends will keep your mind off things and will cheer you up! Even if you aren’t in a very sociable mood, having people to talk to is still beneficial.
  • Remember that time is a healer. You may experience your biggest feelings of sadness in the first days and months after a death, but over time it gets easier.

Who can I talk to?

If you have lost someone close to you the worst thing you can do is to isolate yourself and not speak to anyone about the way you are feeling. There are a number of people you can talk to:

  • Your friends and family – they will listen, support you and also help you take your mind off things.
  • Your doctor – if you don’t think you are coping with a loss, visit your doctor. They will offer help and treatment if you aren’t feeling better after a period of time. Be as open as you can with your doctor, anything you tell them will be held in confidence and won’t leave the room unless they think you are at harm to yourself or others.
  • Your teacher – if you have been affected by a death, talk to your teacher who can offer support and can take some school work pressure off you. 
  • Child Bereavement UK – for help and support with dealing with a death, phone the Child Bereavement confidential phone line on 0800 0288 840 or email 
  • Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland – they support and help people who are in grieving and help them cope with their loss be it a parent, a loved one, or a friend. Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland can be contacted on 0808 802 6161.
  • Childline – Childline is a counselling service for young people. You can contact their free, confidential line on 0800 1111.

The website has information on what has to be done following a death, including how to register a death and arrange a funeral.

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