Young people dealing with the death of a parent or other loved one

The death of a parent or other loved one is always absolutely devastating. And, if this happens to you when you are a teenager or a young person, it can be particularly tough. If you are going through the terrible pain of losing a loved one whilst you are yourself at a young age, below are some pieces of advice that may help you.

Do not be afraid to talk

It can be tempting to hide our emotions and to put a brave face on things. This might be due to the hope that the pain will go away if we ignore it. Or, it might be because we do not want other people prying in to our private thoughts and feelings. But, talking about our problems will help us to deal with them, and will provide us with comfort and a sense of perspective on life. If you cannot reach out to a trusted friend, a family member or a teacher then there are plenty of organisations that you can speak to anonymously. One of them is the Samaritans, which can be called for free on 116 123 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they have lots of helpful guides at their site www.samaritans.org.

Remember, grief takes time

The grieving process can take many months or years, and everyone’s grieving process is different. Do not let anyone pressure you into ‘getting over it’ or ‘just getting on with life’ before you yourself are ready. It’s ok to feel sad some days and to lack the motivation to go to school. That is a normal part of the grieving process, which can leave you feeling down and lacking in energy. If you think that your sadness has developed into depression, it is crucial to visit a doctor, counsellor or other professional who can help you.

Find what helps you

Find out what helps you to cope with grieving. That might be something as simple as framing photos of the loved one you have lost and displaying them on your wall, or it could mean calling up a family member to talk through how you are feeling. It might mean heading to the cinema once a week with friends, or it might just involve making yourself an extra special peanut butter hot chocolate whenever you feel sad and low. Make a list of things that help you to come with grief, and whenever the grief feels hard to bear, turn to the list and try one of the strategies on it to see if it will help.

Get some help with the practicalities

Planning and preparing for a funeral can be time consuming and a little tricky. So, make sure that you have help from other family members and loved ones when it comes to managing the costs (a funeral plan is one idea as this enables a funeral to be paid for in a series of smaller payments rather than all at once) and ensuring that everything is properly arranged.

Remember, you can get through this

Losing a loved one is an awful experience. But remember, you can get through this, with the right support.

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