Project Description

When someone close to you is very ill or has died, there is no right or wrong way to feel.

You might feel angry, sad, confused or completely lost. It’s natural to feel a whole host of emotions and it is important to remember that whatever you are feeling, it is okay to feel that way. 

Whilst things will feel better in time, it might be a good idea to get some support to help manage your feelings and it is important you look after yourself.

A common way of dealing with loss whether it be death, divorce or illness is hardly grieving at all. This  could be because someone hasn’t had a chance to grieve because of other demands in their life. It could take years for the person to truly realise what has happened.

Getting Support

When people grieve, they all do so in different ways. Some avoid talking about how they feel and find it difficult to express their emotions. However, finding people to talk to is a healthy way of coping, especially when you have lost someone close to you. 

You will need to make a decision about who you choose to talk to. 

Family members may be good to open up to as they may have similar experiences. 

Close friends may not have experienced something similar but they can still be a source of comfort and support. 

Additionally many schools in Wiltshire have a school counsellor whom you can talk to you and get support from.

  • If they want to, bereaved people can cry and talk about their feelings without fear of being judged.
  • There may be practical support a friend or family member could offer like helping with general housework, cooking and other chores.
  • There isn’t a limit on how long someone should grieve for but it is important they are allowed enough time to grieve.

Looking After Yourself

You may not feel like it but, as well as getting support from others it is important to remember to look after yourself while you grieve.

  • Although you may lose your appetite, your body still needs food so try to keep eating as normally as possible.
  • You may also find it difficult to sleep, these tips may help you keep a sleep routine.
  • Exercising regularly is good for you and can help you sleep better (as long as you don’t do vigorous exercise too close to bedtime). It may also give you some relief to focus on something physical while you are experiencing an emotional time.

Spending time with your friends and keeping up your normal social routines will give you the opportunity to talk to others if you feel like it whilst also helping you take your mind off things. You shouldn’t feel guilty about having a good time with your friends as this will help with your overall wellbeing.

The use of alcohol and drugs may feel like an option for coping when someone close to you is no longer around, but the long term effects are not good and alcohol and drugs won’t allow you to properly grieve over your loss.




Our colleagues at the Barnardo’s Education Community created resources just like the ones above. If you would like to find more then please follow the link below for more worksheets:

Helpline and online support to young people aged 11-25, when a close family member is diagnosed with cancer or another a life-threatening illness.

Helping children and young people (up to age 25), parents, and families, to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies.

Youth website where young people can learn from other young people about how to cope with grief and to feel less alone.

A wide range of information on childhood cancer and its impact.

Resources and E-counselling sessions to young people over 14 affected by bereavement.

We Hear You (WHY) is based in Frome and offers a free professional one-to-one counselling service for anyone affected by a diagnosis of cancer or another life threatening illness.

Website for teenagers who have a parent with cancer.

Helpline and email advice for children, parents and professionals.

Brake, the road safety charity, provides a helpline and support literature available to adults who care for anyone bereaved or injured in a road crash.

Resources about preventing, intervening and supporting those bereaved by suicide.

Try Smiles and Tears, our new Smartphone App

Save your memories, remember your special person and seek support from our new, free, smartphone app available to download from Google Play and the App Store.