Grief & Bereavement

People are social by nature and that means we generally tend to live and interact closely with groups of people such as our families, friends, colleagues, boyfriends, girlfriends and classmates

Things can get difficult when we are separated from or lose those we care about. Sometimes people move away and out of our lives, sometimes things happen and our friendships or relationships end, and as is nature’s way, the people that we care about pass away. This can bring feelings of shock, sadness or even anger that we may never have felt before.

It is perfectly natural to cry and grieve during this time – you are missing someone from your life that you care about. It’s important not to bottle up your feelings and to try to find a way of expressing them. Always remember you don’t have to deal with this alone, there is always support available. If you’re finding it difficult to cope at school, college or work, always confide in someone you trust who can help you through this difficult time.

There’s support available through these organisations: NHS, The Mix and you can call the Samaritans at any time for free on 116 123 to discuss any issues or problems you may have. You can also chat online with someone from Meic or call the helpline for free on 0808 80 23456.

Losing someone you love or care about can be a huge shock and very painful to cope with. If someone close to you has died, it is normal to experience all kinds of difficult emotions and everyone reacts differently.

  • There is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can help you to feel better. There is also no time frame for grieving. How long it takes can differ from person to person.
  • Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to loss. Crying doesn’t mean you are weak. You don’t need to “protect” your family or friends by putting on a brave front. Showing your true feelings can help them and you. Crying is a normal response to the anger or sadness that you might feel, but it’s not the only one. Those who don’t cry may feel the pain just as deeply as others – they may have other ways of showing it.
  • You might feel angry that the person has been taken from your life, or that their life is over, particularly if they were ill or involved in an accident. This is also a perfectly normal reaction.
  • Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it. It might help to talk about your feelings with family or friends that also loved and cared for the person you have lost. They will be feeling the same as you and sharing your grief might help you all


There are many reasons why parents may decide to separate. Some couples may find they don’t want the same things or they simply don’t get on anymore. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember it’s not your fault. Your parents have made the decision between themselves and it doesn’t mean they have changed the way they feel about you.

Your Feelings

Everyone deals with the divorce of parents differently and you can feel any mixture of emotions, including:

  • Shock: you may not have been expecting your parents to divorce or you may not want them to. This feeling of shock will lessen with time
  • Anger: you may be angry towards your parents about their divorce. Don’t let your anger get out of control. Talk to them about how it is making you feel
  • Upset: you may be upset about the new changes to your life and that one of your parents might not be living with you anymore
  • Confused: you may not know or understand why your parents are divorcing
  • Relieved: if your parents have not been getting on, their divorce may result in things being a lot easier and calmer in the house
  • Scared: you may be afraid of what will happen to you now your parents will not be together
  • Guilty: you may feel like it is your fault in some way – it isn’t

Getting Support

It is important you tell your parents how you are feeling and ask any questions that are on your mind. They will want to make sure you are okay. It is likely other family members are feeling the same, especially any brothers or sisters you may have. Talk to them about your emotions and feelings too as this will make things easier for all of you.

If you cannot speak to your family, talk to someone you can trust about your thoughts and feelings. You may have a friend who has experienced the same thing and so they may be able to give you some advice. You can always call the Samaritans at any time for free on 116 123 to discuss any issues or problems you may have. You can also chat online with someone from Meic or call the helpline for free on 0808 80 23456.

Try doing things you enjoy to help you feel better and give yourself a chance to deal with your feelings.

Your Rights

If you are under 16 and your parents cannot decide where you will live or how much you will see the other parent, the courts will take into account your views. Think carefully about what you really want and don’t be afraid of hurting your parents´ feelings. You need to think about what’s best for you at this time.

If you are over 16, it will be up to you to negotiate with your parents about where you live and how much you will see of them. The courts won’t make these decisions for you. Again, make sure this is your decision and don’t feel guilty about your choice. Talk to friends or other family members about your decision if it helps.

The Future

When divorced, your parents will still be your legal parents. Remember you are still family even if you are living apart. Divorce can bring about some really positive changes. If your parents have not been getting along, then this should make things a lot better for everyone. You may also be brought closer to your parents as you will have all gone through a difficult time together.

See this article from The Mix that simplifies the divorce process.

Break Ups

Relationships can end for a variety of reasons and it can hurt when things are over. Unfortunately, some relationships are not meant to be and won’t last forever. People learn from every experience and what you learn from a relationship ending can help you in the future.

Splitting up is not an easy thing to do for anyone, no matter how good or bad the relationship might have been. The end of a relationship can give you the chance to work out where things went wrong and what you want from future relationships.

Whether or not you’re the person that ended the relationship, it can be miserable and painful, but your feelings will heal over time.

The Right Way?

Sometimes people are unsure as to how to break up with someone and instead of facing up to the situation, they cut off communication hoping that the other person will get the message. This is not a pleasant way to deal with things and can leave the other person never really understanding what went wrong or why the relationship ended.

If you are considering splitting up with your partner, think about:

  • How you would like to be treated if the situation was reversed. If your relationship isn’t working out, it’s best to be honest with your partner and let them down gently.
  • Be fair and be kind to them, you were once close so they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
  • Try and break it to them face-to-face, this allows you to explain your reasons properly and gives them the opportunity to ask questions and tell you how they feel. It won’t be easy but they will respect you for handling it well.
  • If your relationship has ended because your partner has stopped contacting you, this can be very confusing. Try to find out what’s going on – talk to them or arrange to meet up to discuss the situation.

You can find support for how to break up with someone correctly and the emotions that come with it and how to get over a break up from these organisations: The Mix – How to break up with someone, The Mix – How do I get over a break up? and Brook.

You can call the Samaritans at any time for free on 116 123 to discuss any issues or problems you may have. You can also chat online with someone from Meic or call the helpline for free on 0808 80 23456.