James, aged 23, was supported by Child Bereavement UK in Milton Keynes after his father died from a brain tumour in 2009.  He was a member of the Group for Young People in Milton Keynes and is an Ambassador for the charity.

My mum ‘forced’ me to go to the group for young people at Child Bereavement UK! She said you have to go once and, if you don’t like it after the first time, then you don’t have to go back. And here I am 10 years later!

Before I came to Child Bereavement UK, I didn’t speak about what had happened for two years. Then as soon as I walked into a group and I knew everyone was in the same situation as me and that I wasn’t going to get the awkward questions, I felt more comfortable.

It was so good having people that were closer to my age because it’s difficult when you’re young to listen to adults who think that they know what you’re going through.

It was a brand-new group, so we all sat there knowing nobody. But after half an hour we could speak to one another like we’d known each other for ages. It was so good having people that were closer to my age because it’s difficult when you’re young to listen to adults who think that they know what you’re going through.

When you’re first bereaved, you can’t comprehend it. As you start to take a step back and tackle it, you start to find ways of dealing with it.

I have a better understanding now of what happened. I think when you’re first bereaved, you can’t comprehend it. As you start to take a step back and tackle it, you start to find ways of dealing with it.

I’m a lot further down the road so I find it quite easy to help other people now because I know how they’ve felt; I can be there for them and give them what they need – what I had. When I was much younger, I don’t think I would have been able to do that, but now I am. I think I almost see it as my right now to help others - that I have to do that because people need that help.

You don’t get over it, you learn to deal with it, especially with help and talking about it. I don’t think you can ever truly say it’s completely gone but it becomes part of you - you’re able to live with it but it will still be there.

For me it’s got a lot easier, but the pain never goes away. Sometimes you wake up and you still have bad days, but it’s got a lot better. You don’t get over it, you learn to deal with it, especially with help and talking about it. I don’t think you can ever truly say it’s completely gone but it becomes part of you - you’re able to live with it but it will still be there.

As soon as you start speaking, you can start the journey towards getting better and getting more comfortable with it.

My advice to other bereaved young people is to talk to someone, find someone that you can relate to and that you feel confident speaking to. You can’t do it alone and as much as it’s going to hurt, at that moment when you’re doing it, it’s going to make it better in the long run. As soon as you start speaking, you can start the journey towards getting better and getting more comfortable with it.