Bereavement and young people

content supplied by NHS Choices

Losing someone important to you is one of the hardest things to experience in life and if you’re young, bereavement can be even more difficult. But support and advice are available to help you get through it.

Read other young people’s experiences of bereavement

Your teenage years can be a lot of fun, but they are also often an emotional time. If someone close to you dies, it can be incredibly hard. Your world may feel as though it has crashed around you. It can make you feel very alone, especially as a young person, because you might find that none of your friends have gone through anything similar and don’t understand or know what to say.

Your emotions

Grieving is a natural part of recovering from a bereavement, and everyone’s experience of grief is different. There are no rules about what we should feel, and for how long. But many people find that they feel a mixture of the following:

These feelings may be very intense, particularly in the early days and weeks. Time eventually helps these intense emotions to subside and there's no need to feel guilty about starting to feel better. It doesn’t mean that you’re not respecting the person’s memory or forgetting about them.

There are several things that can help you start to feel better. Looking after your health and talking to someone will help you to get through this difficult time.

Finding support

Talking about your grief is an important part of getting through a bereavement. Choosing who to talk to about your feelings is a very personal decision. Sometimes the most unlikely person can actually offer the most support. If you’ve lost a family member, someone else in your family may also be good to open up to because they’re likely to understand how you’re feeling.

A close friend can be a good listener and a source of comfort and support, even if they haven’t gone through this themselves.

There are lots of other sources of advice and support available, including:

Looking after yourself

During a time of grief you may not feel like looking after yourself, but it is important to help you cope with the extreme emotions that come with bereavement. Some of the following quite simple things can make a big difference, such as:

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