Whatever you feel is how you feel. You may experience nothing or a mixture of feelings all at once. 

Young people supported by Child Bereavement UK share what has helped them:

  • Spend time with people you feel comfortable with. Sometimes you may want to talk, other times you may not but sometimes just being with others who care about you can help.
  • It’s really normal and OK to feel angry but it’s important that you express it in a way that is safe for yourself and others.
  • Try talking to someone – perhaps someone you trust or who has been in a similar situation. You may find it easier to speak to friends rather than family and that’s OK.
  • Distract yourself, have fun and do things you enjoy – spend time with friends or pets, go outside, watch a good film or TV programme, play a computer game. You will have times when you don’t think about who has died and that is OK.
  • Write about or draw your thoughts, feelings and memories.
  • Create your own space. Somewhere to go where you can feel safe or spend time on your own.
  • Choose something that belonged to the person who died that you can treasure and keep with you
  • Create a memory box where you can keep photos or things that are special to you.
  • Listen to music that you like and that your special person enjoyed : make a  special play list
  • Think about all of the good times you had with them.
  • Chatting with others in the same situation can help you remember you are not on your own.
  • Ask for help. This could be from someone at home, at school, your doctor or anyone else you trust.
  • Try watching a short film made by other bereaved young people (see below)
  • Try looking at a support website or contacting a support organisation

Sarah whose Dad died shares her thoughts about coping with funerals:

"If you’ve never been to a funeral before, you’ll probably want to know what it will be like, so ask someone. Your family may tell you not to go, but make sure you know what you want. It can be a good opportunity to say goodbye to the person who has died. There might be people there that you don’t know. You may be asked to shake hands with people and you could find this pretty awkward, especially as you’re feeling upset. But remember, no-one expects you to be happy and smiling. Your family may welcome the chance to chat, and you can share feelings. You might decide to go to the service, but not the burial or cremation.

There might be a gathering of family and friends before or after the service, sometimes called a wake. If you are not going to some parts of the funeral, see if you can find a friend or family member to be with. It may help to have a chat or to cry, away from the formality of the service."

Bereaved young people's tips for Rio Ferdinand

The young people’s group in Cheshire tried out a range of activities including;

  • Bowling
  • Trampolining
  • Theatre
  • Canal boat adventure

Cheshire young people's canal boat adventure

They suggested that the benefits of these and other activities for bereaved young people were:

  • Exercise which helps to release feelings such as anger as well as releasing endorphins which can improve mood and make you feel happy
  • Can feel like a reward you can give yourself for achieving something
  • Learn new skills
  • Important self-care
  • Opportunity to relax
  • Outside activities mean you are in fresh air which is good for you and makes you feel good
  • Gives a sense of achievement
  • Is a reminder to give ourselves time to have fun and laugh
  • Chance to spent time with friends, socialising
  • A planned activity to look forward to
  • A distraction from grief and challenges in life
  • Motivating

> What helps to move forward?

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