Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Friends Mum died

Hi sam

so in the last year one of my closest friend's mum passed away, It was quite unexpected and really hard on me and my friends. Since the funeral, my friend hasn't really talked too much about it. she's mentioned it and stuff but I just wish she would tell us when she's going through a rough patch cos I can never tell anymore. I don't want to force her to open up cos it's not my place and being with friends is maybe easier than being at home but i also want to let her no that she can talk to me if she needs to. Im not sure how to without being scared of overstepping.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

When someone dies suddenly it can be very difficult for everyone to come to terms with what's happened. Close friends who have lost someone might affect you as well for a few reasons. You might feel sad for them, feel grief yourself or it might be that your friend needs you to support them through their difficult time.

Everyone copes with death in their own way and there is no right or wrong way to deal with it. Some people need lots of people around them, others like time alone. As a friend you can't take their grief away and sometimes understanding that it's a process they need to go through can help you to know what you should do to support them.

As a friend you can be there to listen if your friend wants to talk - they might want to share with you how they feel and talk about what they're going through, so that they don't feel alone. You can also be there to simply be a friendly, familiar face. Losing someone you’re close to can suddenly make everything feel different and so familiar things become more important to them. This might mean just doing everyday things is what helps them the most because it feels "normal" when everything else doesn't.

You need to look after yourself as well - because if you aren't okay then you won't be able to support your friend. If you're feeling grief over your friend's mum then you should talk to someone about how you feel. Remember you can grieve in your own way as well. Once you feel strong enough then you can be there for your friend. This might be as simple as letting them know you're there and that you understand they might not be okay for a while. It's also important to be aware they might just want some space themselves and to be alone - and that's okay.

I hope this has helped, but if you or your friend want to talk then Childline is here for you both. You can talk to a counsellor or perhaps ask other young people how they have coped with grief, or supported someone else who is grieving, on our message boards.

Thanks for writing in, take care.


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter