How I learned to talk about my feelings

By Hayden, aged 11, whose father died when he was six.

I didn’t cry because I didn’t know how to feel or how to express my feelings.

My dad died in 2017 when I was just six years old to cancer. I remember that on the day of the funeral I just stood by his coffin with no emotions in my heart. I didn’t cry because I didn’t know how to feel or how to express my feelings. I went back to school after a couple of days, and we continued with our lives but still remembered him in our hearts. 

Four years later when I was in my last year of primary school, my mum looked for some help and found Child Bereavement UK. I had already been to counselling before at the hospice where my dad died, but I was younger then and didn’t really understand it. 

Grief doesn’t always happen on the outside, but sometimes only on the inside.

When I started the support with Child Bereavement UK over Zoom back in January, I wasn’t very confident about how to show my reaction and thoughts about my dad’s death, but they taught me that everyone has different feelings, and you don’t always have to go through them in a way for everybody to see. Grief doesn’t always happen on the outside, but sometimes only on the inside. Now I feel fine to talk about my dad and don’t always get sad when I think about him.