There is no time limit on grief.  When someone close to you dies, grief doesn't go away but it can get easier with time.  Most young people say that over time they are able to 'handle it better’.

Sarah shared her thoughts on what helped her after her Dad died:

You may be going through one of the worst experiences of your life, so be kind to yourself.  At first it may seem awful, or even pointless, to carry on without the person. But as time goes on, you can find ways to cope. 

Friends and family

Supporting each other

Those around you will be grieving too, and it can help to share feelings and memories, if you can. This can help if you feel nobody understands what you are going through.  If you are worried about upsetting your family, maybe there's a friend or adult you can talk to.

Try talking in the car, or when doing something together like shopping or walking the dog. You can talk about everyday things if talking about feelings is too hard. Just keeping connected will help you all to be less worried about each other.


Some friends may feel awkward if they don't know what to say, or they don’t want to upset you. Or you may feel different from them because they have not been through what you have.  You may find it hard to care about what they are into, for a while. Tell friends how they can help, including just hanging out and being normal, if that's what you need.  


If possible, keep photos, letters, some clothing or other items that belonged to the person who died, to remember them.  It may be painful at first, but memories are really important.  In later years you will be so glad you have them.

Help from others

At first, people will probably be supportive and rally around you. You might get a lot more attention than you are used to. This can feel nice and helpful at the time, but it wil fade off later. Although others have their own lives to get on with (and so have you), it is still OK to ask for support, even months or years later.

Good and bad days

Sometimes you will have an awful day when you feel you can’t cope. You'll feel anxious, angry, tearful or isolated. But you may also have days when you're hopeful and optimistic. Right now you may be having more bad days than good, but this can change over time. Don’t feel guilty if you have a day when you don’t think about the person who died. It is OK not to be sad all the time. Give yourself permission to be happy.

In a year, things could look very different, in five years... who knows?  You can look to the future and have goals to aim for, while still remembering the person. You may find that they inspire you to aim for your goals.