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Coping with death

When someone close to you dies, it's an upsetting experience that can affect you for a long time. But it's important that you share your feelings with others to make sure you're not trying to cope alone.

The grieving process

Dealing with your emotions when someone close to you has died is really tough, and there's a number of feelings that you can go through. There isn't a right way to cope with someone dying - everyone reacts differently.

If someone has died unexpectedly, you may feel shocked and confused about why it has happened. You can also feel angry that someone has been taken from you.

If an elderly relative or someone who has had a long illness dies, your feelings may be just the same even if you have been preparing for it. You can also feel relieved that someone you loved is no longer suffering from their condition.

Grieving for a loved one can affect every aspect of your life. You may find it hard to sleep, eat or concentrate on your work. If you're struggling at school, college or at work, you may be able to get time off if you explain your situation to your boss or a teacher.

Talking it over

It's really important that you talk to people to help you deal with your grief - you don't have to try and get through the situation by yourself.

If a member of your family has died, your parents or other relatives may be having similar feelings. Sharing your thoughts with them may help you come to terms with the death.

Some of your friends may have gone through a similar experience themselves, so talking to them can also help you understand what you're going through.


Funeral ceremonies celebrate the life of the person who has passed away and give friends and family a chance to grieve together and share their memories. They're often held in a place of worship, but some ceremonies can be non-religious and they can take the form of a burial or a cremation.

Whether or not you decide to go to the ceremony is up to you, but some people find that it can make the grieving process easier. To help you make the decision, you may want to talk to your parents or friends about what happens at a funeral.

Other ways of dealing with a death

As well as talking to friends and family, you may want to speak to your doctor. There are also lots of organisations that can help you to understand your feelings. Some of them run helplines, and some have online message boards where you can ask questions or post your memories of the person who has died.

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