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Bereavement and grief: Just the facts

Bereavement is the period following the loss of someone important to you.

This can cause you to feel a range of different emotions. These emotions can affect you mentally and physically..

You might have heard the term ‘grief’ before. Grief is a natural response following a bereavement and is a way of adjusting to the loss of someone, whether it be a family member, friend or a pet.

For young people this can be an extremely difficult period and there is no right or wrong way to feel. It’s important that you allow yourself time and space to grieve and to come to terms with a loss.

Remember that everyone deals with and experiences grief in different ways.

The range of emotions you might experience may include:

These emotions can be demonstrated as a cycle showing five distinct stages of grief. This is shown in the image below:

Kubler-Ross grief cycle

Experiences of the grief stages are completely unique, so you may not follow this sequence or fit any of these stages. And that’s ok.

It takes time to deal with grief, but you can seek help by talking to someone. This could be a family member, teacher, a trusted adult or a health professional such as your school nurse or GP.

You may decide to look for support straight away, or you might prefer to deal with things slowly, quietly and by yourself to begin with. Following a bereavement, there is no right or wrong  way to feel or act.

If you are finding it difficult to cope, it is important to seek support and remember that you’re not alone.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.

Cross Hatch

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Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.

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