Help yourself – finding ways of coping

If someone close to you has died, you might find it hard to think of ways to cope. Some other bereaved young people have come up with suggestions of things that you can do. The people who put these suggestions together wanted to remind you that this is for now and your needs might change. They know that these things do help even though it may not appear so. It may take a long time. If nothing is helping, they suggest that you talk to someone to get more ideas.

What I can do…

  1. Ask for support and help whenever I need it.
  2. Ask questions about what happened. I need the facts to help me understand and talking about it helps.
  3. Share with others that sometimes I think I am to blame, even if it does not make sense.
  4. Remind myself that like the seasons things will change.
  5. Tell a adult if I feel helpless and hopeless about the future. They can talk to me about what might help.
  6. Think about what ‘I can do’ and then ‘just do it’ rather than thinking ‘if only’.
  7. Find different ways of expressing my feelings by exercising, writing, listening to or playing music, and carrying on with my interests.
  8. Find out about groups for children or young people who ae also coping with loss and change- and go along.
  9. Remind myself that I am not going crazy. My sleeping, eating, thinking, remembering, concentration and motivation will be up and down.
  10. Ask for whatever extra help I may need in school. Talk to my teachers about my hopes for the future.
  11. Tell a trusted adult if anyone is giving me a hard time or hurting me. I will carry on telling adults until things change for the better.
  12. Ask to be included in planning the funeral and in important decisions that are going to affect me.
  13. Keep something special that belonged to the person and start a memory box or book to help remember them.
  14. Do something special on anniversaries that will help me remember and cope with what has happened.
  15. Talk to the person that has died in my imagination. This may help me say things that I never got the chance to say. It may also help me feel still connected to them in some way as they are a part of my life.
  16. Look after myself and allow time for sleeping, eating, resting, thinking and relaxing.
  17. Laugh and have fun without feeling guilty or bad about it. This does not mean that I am ‘over it’, have ‘forgotten’ or ‘couldn’t care’.