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To lose someone you love who is central to your life, whatever your age, can be devastating. Well-meaning phrases like, ‘time heals’ can make you feel even more isolated and miserable and that nobody has any idea at all of what you are going through.
Grief is entirely individual, but when someone dies you may experience many emotions, some very unexpected. It is usual to feel shock (even when a death is expected), numbness, disbelief, anger, guilt, as well as profound sorrow and feelings of loss and loneliness.
In some ways coming to terms with a bereavement can be likened to recovering from a physical injury. Hard though it is to believe at the time, somehow, with the passage of time, you will learn to accommodate and to live with the emotional injury, but at the time of loss you cannot imagine that you ever will.
You will never forget or stop loving or missing that person and it may even take 2-3 years before coming to terms with the finality of their absence. But the intensity of the pain will fade over time and you will heal. Children can suffer very much when someone close to them dies, as they have no previous experience of grief and often don’t have the words to express what they are feeling or know how to ask for help.
Grief is such a profound and private thing it can be difficult to reach out for help, but there are many local and national organisations who want to reach out to you and support you through this painful time.
Bereavement and Young People (NHS)
NHS Moodzone - Bereavement
Child bereavement support services. Free helpline 08088 020021 9am-5pm M-F (not bank holidays.)
(Local) Mosaic Family Support
Dorset charity offering support to bereaved children, parents and carers. Mosaic offers children the chance to meet others and share their experiences.
Contact: 01258 837071
Hope again - Cruse Bereavement Care for young people. Helping you cope with the death of someone you love. FREE helpline 0808 808 1677 (9.30-5pm Mon-Fri)
Royal College of Psychiatrists - Death in the Family For parents and carers. Helping children to cope: the impact on children and adolescents.
Bereavement - a Self-Help Guide
Northumberland Tyne & Wear NHS Trust
Coping with grief and the loss of a pet Losing a much-loved friend can feel like the hardest thing to go through. This PDSA webpage helps to explain the feelings you may experience.
Acceptance is essential to the healing process. you should talk to your GP if you feel you are not coping and especially if you have suffered from grief that is still very painful beyond 2 years.