Coping with loss and change
“School is just impossible. I can’t concentrate at all. People think that I should be ok by now, that it’s all over. They forget that it’s only all starting for me now.” Dan
“I have weird feelings if I leave the house for too long – I feel like I’m forgetting things, like forgetting my brother, forgetting what he meant to me.” Fiona
Sometimes things can happen that you might not connect with your grief and they might not even happen straight away after the death.
- Stomach pains
- Muscle pains
- Feeling exhausted for no obvious reason
- Losing concentration/getting easily distracted, not being able to follow plots in films and books
- Not being able to do maths anymore
- Just feeling ‘different’
The best you can do if any or all of these things happen to you, is to recognise them as just a part of the process of grieving, and then to look after yourself as best as you can. If you are at all worried about yourself, don’t ignore it, talk to an adult you trust, or to your doctor.
There are a few things we may do when we're grieving that are not so ok though. Here are a few:
- You may feel like using drugs or alcohol to stop feeling bad. This never works. In the long run it will make things harder and it will take you longer to recover.
- You may feel like driving dangerously or doing other unsafe things that you would never have considered before.
- You may feel like skipping school. If you do it's a good idea to tell a teacher how you feel as, if you really need time off, that can usually be arranged once they understand what's going on for you. If you don't feel up to telling them yourself, try to find an adult who'll speak to your school on your behalf.
- You may feel like experimenting with sex just to feel close to someone or loved by someone. While the feelings here are perfectly normal, this doesn't work either. And sometimes it can end up with you feeling even more upset.
- You may feel you should hide your feelings to protect people around you. But they don't need protecting, they probably really want to know how you are, even if how you are is awful.
- You may feel like dropping things you used to be interested in, like sports or dance or whatever you used to enjoy. That's normal, but it’s a good idea to pick it up again after a while, a few weeks or months or even a couple of years. It might feel weird starting again, but if you enjoyed it before, you probably will again. And you deserve to enjoy things.