Death - Am I normal?

QuestionAm I normal ?

 height=picture“Christmas was a disaster this year – you’d think three years on it would be ok, but it wasn’t. I cried nearly every day and I fought with my Mum and sister constantly.” Sarah


There is no set timetable for grief. Each person deals with the death of a loved one at their own pace and in very different ways. There is no specific time period that it will last. Happy and sad memories will be with you throughout your life as you think of the person who has died.

It is not always easy to talk about how you feel. You might find it really hard to talk to someone in your family, especially if that person is upset too. Or perhaps the person who died is the person you would normally talk to and you don’t think that anyone else would understand.

quote As time passes there will be certain things that will remind you of the death. Some things are obvious like the anniversary of the death or the birthday of the person, while other things may take you by surprise. You might find that when something unrelated upsets you, you find yourself thinking about that person or your sadness. Things like songs or smells or films or even tastes can remind you of the person that died and suddenly you can have memories flooding back and you may feel sad or angry all over again. Don't worry if that happens, that's normal too.

After someone has died, it’s ok…

  • To cry and feel sad – you've lost a lot, and your life has changed a lot.
  • To feel like you're raging, and not feel like talking about your feelings. You may feel embarrassed, ‘different’ or that no-one will 'get it'.
  • To be interested in things that the person who died used to do. Just don't forget to be you!
  • To daydream and relive memories. However. iIt may help to think about new things too.
  • To forget for a while.
  • To forgive yourself for any fights you may have had with the person who died, or any harsh things you may have said or done.
  • To feel scared of other people dying or afraid you might die yourself. Teenagers often feel paranoid or fearful after a death, but this won't last forever.
  • To be upset, angry or not have any feelings at all sometimes. It’s perfectly ok to need to have a good time and feel normal again, to have a laugh and feel happy. It’s also ok to cry, you may find yourself crying when you are sad but also when you are happy.
Most of all, it's ok to grieve in your own way, whatever that is.

Barnardos National Office,
Christchurch Square, Dublin 8

Tel: +353 (0) 1 453 0355 / Callsave: 1850 222 300
Fax: +353 (0) 1 453 0300 / Email: