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grief and loss


It can be really upsetting when someone dies. It could be someone in your family, a friend, someone you know, or a pet that has died. It is normal to feel a lot of things at times of loss.

People might also grieve when they are separated from friends, like when they move away to another area, city or country.

When someone is grieving, they feel pain but are also coming to terms with losing someone special. During this time, a whole variety of feelings can be experienced. These can include feeling helpless, scared, disappointed, shocked, really sad, confused, angry, guilty, alone or abandoned.

People can also feel unwell after someone has died. It is common to get a sore stomach or a headache. Sometimes you might have nightmares, can't eat much or feel tired all the time.

It is important to let your feelings out. Here's how you can do that:

CRY. Don't bottle up your feelings. Allow yourself to be sad. Cry for as long and as often as you need to. You dont have to be alone when you do this, let others share in your grief if you want to.

TALK. It's OK to talk about people who have died. It's good to remember them, and laugh about the fun times. Talking helps people to share their sadness.

FORGET.  Its normal to forget about your sadness sometimes and want to do fun things with friends. You need to think about other things too. Or, you may not want to

FEAR. You may be scared that other people you care about might die as well. This is normal and as time passes these worries fade.

ASK. You may have lots of questions such as, "where do people go when they die? Rather than worry, it is a good idea to ask questions.

TIME. Grieving takes time, your pain will pass but don't expect to feel better too quickly.

Special things you can do

You might like to collect a shoebox or file full of special bits and pieces to help you remember. For example; photographs of fun times, videos, tapes, books, letters and cards or special presents.

Get your mum or dad to help you write down memories of shared things you did with the person who died like; special songs you sang, special places you went, nicknames they called you and the things they loved about you.

Tell the person you are with that it's OK for them to be upset around you, that they don't have to pretend that they are OK. Say that their tears tell you how much they loved the person who has gone.

If you know ahead of time that someone is dying then spend some time with them and tell them how much you love them. If you have had an argument with them, now might be a nice time to make up with them.

If you want to go to the funeral then tell someone. You might have some ideas of how you want to say goodbye at the funeral service. If you do, tell an adult about them.
You could say how you feel about them by writing a card, letter or poem and putting it onto the coffin as a final gift for that person.

It might also help to talk to a Kidsline Buddy about how you're feeling.
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