Grief may not feel normal but it is. Everyone will grieve in their own way. You may experience all sorts of feelings or you may feel nothing. You may find it easy to talk or you might bottle all of your emotions up.

Grief is:

A massive bundle of different emotions and intense feelings. Feeling sad and missing somebody. Love happens and people die in your family. Someone who has lost someone and they can’t get over it. You cry over someone dying. You cry then you stop. Then you cry, then you stop.

– Member of our Young People’s Advisory Group

 Whatever you feel is how you feel. You may experience a mixture of feelings all at once. It helps if you can learn to recognise your feelings.

You may feel……

Numbness when you think you should be feeling very upset. Lots of young people have told us they feel numb at first.

Disbelief: You might find it hard to believe this has happened and you may expect them to walk through the door at any time

Confusion about what has happened and the way everything in your life has changed. You may feel you have lots of unanswered questions.

Worry, perhaps about the future, who will look after you, your siblings or your parent?  You may feel you have new responsibilities and worry about how to cope with these.

Anger. There is not always an easily understood reason for anger but it is perfectly natural to feel it.

Guilt and Regret. It is very normal to think that you could have done more or that you should have behaved differently. It was not your fault and there is nothing you could have done to prevent the death.

Loneliness:  You may have a good group of friends but if none have experienced your situation, then you can feel lonely even when surround by people.  Even with your family, if you are all grieving differently, bereaved young people tell us you can feel very alone.

Overwhelmed.  You may feel completely overwhelmed by powerful feelings and emotions that you do not understand or expect.

Grief also has physical effects: You could go off your food or even find it becomes tasteless. You may find it hard to sleep, and as a result, become tired and irritable, especially when trying to concentrate at school or work.

Whether the death was expected or not when someone close to you dies, you suddenly have a lot of difficult emotions to deal with.  The most important thing to remember about grief is that it can affect different people in different ways, and all these feelings are normal.