Bereavement, Grief & Death

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

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 die. 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.

NHS – Dealing with grief and loss

The Mix – Grief and bereavement


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
  • In time, the pain will get better and you will be left with the memories of the good times that you shared with the person you have lost

The Grieving Process: Coping With Death 

Heads Above the Waves – Dealing with Losing Someone You Love

NHS Direct Wales – Bereavement

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 on 0808 80 23456.


In Britain, it is predicted that one in every three marriages will end in divorce.

There are many reasons why your parents may decide to separate. Some couples may find they don’t want the same things or they don’t get on anymore for example. 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
  • Angry: 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

Don’t keep these feelings bottled up. It is your right to feel all of these emotions so talk to your parents. Remember they are going through a difficult time too so stick together.

  • You may feel like you have to take sides but your parents shouldn’t expect you to do this. Equally, don’t feel stuck in the middle. It is your parents´ decision and it’s their responsibility to sort things out
  • You may feel like things will never get better. But no matter how bad you are feeling now, things will improve for you and your family. It will take time for things to settle down, but you do not have to deal with this alone
  • You may feel like you don’t want to eat, you can’t concentrate and you’re having trouble sleeping. This is very normal at first, but it is best to see your doctor if these effects continue and stop you from getting on with your life

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
  • See the links at the end of the section for more sources of advice and support. There are people who can listen to you and support you so don’t feel alone
  • Try doing things you enjoy to help you feel better and give you a chance to deal with your feelings

What Happens Now?

  • If both your parents have decided to divorce, they will not have to go to court. They can deal with this on paper
  • If your parents cannot agree on where you should live, they will need to go to court to help them make the decision. A Child Support Agency may also be able to help your parents decide or your parents can see a mediator
  • Your parents will talk to a solicitor who will help them with the process and give them some options
  • On average, divorces usually take 6 – 8 months, but if there are any problems along the way, this can take longer

Your Rights

  • Unfortunately, if you are under 16 you don’t have any legal rights. However, if 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
  • It will take time for things to re-adjust, but remember however bad things are, they will get better and life will soon return to normal

The Mix – When parents divorce

Kids Health – Dealing with divorce

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 on 0808 80 23456.


The feeling of loss can be terrible. You may be experiencing the loss of a pet, somebody close to you may have gone missing or your may have lost a friend. Sadly you might have lost a baby. This section is divided into different topics to cover different types of loss


  • A miscarriage is where a pregnancy ends suddenly and early. It feels like a very heavy period, you might experience severe cramping and stabbing pains and bleed heavily
  • Most miscarriages happen in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy
  • Sometimes people have early miscarriages when they didn’t realise that they were pregnant
  • Some miscarriages happen for no apparent reason or as a result of an accident or medical condition. Miscarriage is not fully understood but happens to a lot of people. Most miscarriages are beyond your control, so don´t blame yourself
  • It can be an extremely upsetting time and you will need emotional support so look to your partner, family and friends to help you through it. Talk to your doctor and feel free to ask any questions you like
  • Just because you have had a miscarriage, don’t think that you won’t be able to have children in the future, many women go on to have several children after a failed pregnancy

NHS – Miscarriage

The Mix – Miscarriage: the emotions

The Mix – Miscarriage: the facts

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 on 0808 80 23456.


  • Terminating a pregnancy is a very difficult decision to make and so it is best to speak to a GP about your options first
  • There could be many reasons for terminating a pregnancy. It could be that you feel you can´t cope with having a baby or it could be for medical reasons. Whatever the reason it is best to get support
  • Terminations are a safe medical procedure and do not affect your ability to have children in the future.
  • Going through a termination is not easy for anybody and so it is important you get all the support you need from your partner, family or friends
  • Many women experience feelings of guilt, stress, depression and a sense of loss afterwards – there are a number of places you can contact for advice, facts, information and support. They are there to listen to you, so you don´t have to deal with the emotional strain on your own
  • Some people feel strongly against abortions but remember, it´s your decision. It is your body so YOU decide. You may want to look at abortion in the health section of this website – Abortion

The Mix – Dealing with an abortion

Loss At Birth

  • Losing your baby at birth is a highly emotional experience and you will likely need lots of support. As well as getting over the trauma of birth and all the hormones that come with it, you will also be grieving the loss of your baby
  • If it is possible, you might find it helps to see and hold your baby. Talk this through with your partner or your doctor. You don´t have to do anything you don´t want to do
  • The midwife can take a photograph for you to keep which can give you an opportunity to express your feelings and come to term with what has happened. Only do this if you are entirely comfortable with it and don´t feel pressurised
  • It will take time for you to overcome the feelings you have. Be gentle on yourself and don´t feel disheartened if things don´t get better straight away. You are grieving
  • It is vital you get all the support you need. Talk to those around you and let them know how you are feeling. You might want to consider having a funeral for your baby but this is a very personal choice you must make with your partner

Friends Moving Away

  • As we grow older, our lives change and many people relocate
  • There are many reasons why people move away – it may be due to a break-up, a change in job, a new school or sometimes people want to start afresh in a new place
  • It is completely natural for your friendship groups to change through school and more often when you leave school and start to make bigger decisions about your career and your relationships
  • If your friend has moved away, this doesn´t mean you can´t be friends anymore. Although you might not see each other as much, you can still stay in touch by phone, email, social networks, by writing to each other or visiting
  • It is very normal to feel sad and lonely when a close friend moves away. These feelings will pass with time though and you will soon make new friends at school or at work who you will become close to

Missing Persons

  • Around 200,000 people from Britain go missing from their families each year. However, most of them come home within a few days
  • If you are missing a relative or loved one it can be a very worrying and distressing time
  • Surround yourself with people you are close to. It´s important to stick together, to share your feelings and support each other
  • If you want to trace a missing person, there are organisations that can offer you advice to try to get in contact with the person you are missing

Missing people – A site that offers support if someone you care about is missing and you can report a missing person.


  • When your pet dies, it’s normal to experience the same feelings as if a person had died. They feel like part of your family sometimes
  • Losing a pet you have looked after and cared for can be very upsetting. It will take time for you to get used to your pet not being here anymore
  • However sad and upset you are, remember that things will get better over time
  • Share your feelings with your parents or carers as it is important not to let your feelings build up inside
  • It may help to hold a memorial or ceremony for your pet – it will give you the chance to say goodbye
  • You may want to have a look at the section on death on this website too. It details the emotional and physical effects of dealing with a death

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 on 0808 80 23456.

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. – Breaking up

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

The Mix – how to break up with someone

Getting Over It

When it comes to break ups, time is a great healer. You might feel a mixture of emotions – upset, confused, angry, guilty, low in confidence and stressed. Rest assured these feelings will heal over time.

  • Let your feelings out – don’t keep them inside. It’s perfectly normal to cry – this is all part of the healing process. It’s ok to remember the good times you shared with them, try to think of the positives things that you learned from your time together
  • You might feel miserable and find that you do not want to go out but it will help if you keep yourself busy with friends and family. Try something new and make time to do things you enjoy. Start a new hobby or try going to different places, it will help you to feel better and build up your confidence
  • You will probably miss your partner a lot to begin with. Remember what you used to do before you started your relationship with them
  • You will probably feel a sense of loss. If you used to share your problems with your partner, then you will need to find a new person or group of people to support you. Talk things through with your friends and family, they’re there to listen and to support you
  • If your ex is seeing someone new, seeing them together might make things more painful for you so give yourself the space and time you need to heal away from bumping into them
  • Try not to feel bitter about your ex, these feelings will pass in time. Be careful how you treat them, as you may regret what you say in the future
  • When you feel you are ready, you might want to meet up with your ex as friends. Don’t be tempted to get back in touch if you’re only expecting to get involved in a relationship with them again – they might have moved on and you’ll only make the hurt you are feeling worse

How do I get over a break up?

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 on 0808 80 23456.