Living with grief has been explained as climbing a hill everyday with a bag of rocks on your back, the bag doesn’t get lighter, but we grow the muscles needed to carry it.
How you grieve is up to you, what might help others might not work for you. Remember, we live with grief, and it becomes a part of who we are. Support to get through this time can be found by contacting Childline, we are always here to chat and listen with kindness.
Below are a few tips to living with grief:
Give yourself time
Death is a big thing to process, don’t be in a rush even if it seems like those around you are moving on, life can still feel hard for you, this is okay.
Be kind to yourself
Grief causes your energy to be low so try not to take on a lot of responsibilities and don’t be too hard on yourself in relation to things like schoolwork, sports or commitments. Reach out to your friends, family, teachers, coaches, and teammates and ask if they could share any responsibilities you might have. It is normal to feel confused and overwhelmed during this time.
Ride the grief waves
When someone you love dies, you may be reminded of them often as we go back to our normal routines. This can be hard and upsetting especially when you are not expecting to feel a pang of grief in that moment. These are called ‘grief bursts’, it might be helpful to try and stop and pause in these moments to remember your loved one.
Friends and family may reach out to you and offer support, try to say yes, it is ok to lean on your friends in this difficult time.
Remembering your loved one
Thinking about memories of your loved one can be healing and painful at the same time but remembering them in a fond way creates connections to your memories. Try listening to your loved one’s favourite song, having their favourite flowers in your house or doing something that you liked to do with your loved one, this can help to keep their memory alive. Sometimes it can be hard to not think about how a person died, especially if it was sudden, traumatic or was a death by suicide. If you are finding this difficult try to think about the life they lived and the good times they had before they died.
Childline is here to chat and listen, we can talk about what it is like for you to be grieving or about the loved one you are missing.
There are also other support services available to you throughout your grief journey.
Rainbows Ireland for children and young people under 18
Anam Cara for bereaved parents and siblings
Barnardos Children’s Bereavement Service for families & children/young people under 18