Coping with someone dying
When someone in our life dies or is very ill, we may feel all kinds of emotions which we express in different ways at different times. It may be that they have died suddenly and unexpectedly or that they have been ill for some time and you know that they are going to die. You may be thinking and feeling scared and confused because of this. All that you think and feel about the person who has died or is going to die is called grief. This can affect us in many ways, some thoughts and feelings are normal but you are an individual and there is no right or wrong way to feel.
Some of the things which you might experience include:
- Feeling Different – it is possible that you will feel different to your friends and the people around you because something so big has happened in your life and it is happening to you and not them. You may feel that you have become a different person because of what has happened.
- Feeling Angry – This is a typical reaction when someone has died. At times you might find yourself saying angry things to other people that you don’t really mean; it’s just that you are hurting so much. Remember feeling angry is a natural response. But coping with anger may be difficult so it is important to find ways of letting anger out that are not harmful to yourself or others.
- Feeling Frightened - When someone dies it is possible that you find yourself thinking about death and dying in a way that has never happened before. You may worry about other people close to you dying, how you will cope, whether you might die of the same thing and will you always feel like this.
- Feeling sad – It is likely that you will feel sad and this may be felt physically in your body. For example you may feel pain in your heart or butterflies in your stomach, you could feel really tired and find it difficult to sleep. Dreaming about the person who has died is quite typical and you may wake up feeling sad or scared. Grief can also affect your appetite – some people don’t feel hungry whereas others want to eat all the time.
- How long will it last? – There is no set time for how long we feel like this after someone has died, it can depend on many things. However, it is unusual for these feelings to stay the same as they change over time just as we change, but this is not the same as forgetting the person who has died. Sometimes we can be worried that if we stop feeling like this then we will forget the person, this is not the case but just that remembering them can become less painful. Sometimes, though, new situations in our lives can make us remember that they are not here anymore and this can cause new and unexpected feelings. These, too, will change with time.
How do I get help to cope with all this?
STARS is a bereavement support service for all children and young people living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough up to 25 years of age.
Any adult or professional involved in your life can make a referral to STARS for you with your agreement, or you can refer yourself by ringing either of the contact numbers below. If you leave a message we will get back to you.
We will discuss with you the kinds of support we offer and what happens next.
Call: 01223 863511 or 07827743497
STARS Children’s Bereavement Support Service
C/o CPDC, Foster Road
A confidential online service to support young people with their mental health and emotional wellbeing
NHS - Bereavement
Information and advice on coping with someone dying
confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide