On average, one child in every classroom will experience the death of a parent or sibling before they are 16. Adolescent grief has a devastating impact, with research showing links to mental health issues and social and behavioural problems. Here, a bereaved young person advises how to help others dealing with the loss of a loved one.
1 Write down your feelings or thoughts on paper, then screw it up and throw it away.
2 Keep a diary where you can write down anything that comes to you — thoughts, poems and lyrics.
3 Talk to people who understand how you feel, and to those who knew the person you have lost.
4 If seeing their things around the house upsets you, put them safely away and
take them out another time.
5 It’s OK to feel sad, angry, scared, or to cry. It’s also OK to feel happy and enjoy things.
6 Visiting the grave may make you feel closer to the person you have lost.
7 Talk to the person you have lost, either out loud or in your head.
8 It’s OK not to think about death and loss all of the time, specifically the person you have lost.
9 Think about happy and special times with that person, and feel glad to have had them in your life.
10 Ask for a cuddle.
Grieftalk, the new helpline from Grief Encounter, provides children with support after loss. Call free on 0808 802 0111, chat online or email: firstname.lastname@example.org