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To Sam

Christmas and Bereavement

Hi sam,

so 2 and a half years ago my mum passed away from cancer. This year will be my 3rd christmas without her and im feeling angrier than i have ever felt before. School has been tough for me recently in the build up to christmas because i have been skipping lessons and getting into a lot of trouble and at home i have just been isolating myself in my room. I have been crying so much and i am really struggling. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time of the year and for me it just makes me feel angry and upset.

I really dont know what to do. Please can you give me some advice.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

When someone has died it can be very difficult to imagine having fun again and going on without them. This time of year has lots of different holidays and events that focus a lot on family and friends. This can make it even harder to cope with feelings of loss and grief. Everyone copes in different ways but there are some ideas I can give you that might help.

Coming to terms with something bad that has happened can take a long time. Sometimes you might think you’ve moved on only to find new feelings coming up in the future. Christmas might be a time you start to feel these emotions because you’re reminded of how unfair it is that you don't have your mum there to enjoy it with you.

Remembering the past is important but people react in different ways, depending on where they are in their journey through grief. You might find thinking about happy times with your mum painful at first, but after a while it may become easier. No amount of time would ever have been enough for you to spend with your mum, but it's good to appreciate the good times you did have together. Remembering those times can help you to think about how your mum would want you to cope with the situation you're in now.

My advice would be to not bottle up your feelings - it's okay to be sad, even at happy times like Christmas. If you need to cry then don't be afraid to. Take time for yourself to feel those emotions and don't worry about what those around you think. There might be well-meaning people who try to get you to enjoy yourself, but don't feel pressure to be any specific way. You can't force yourself to be happy. But you can accept the emotions you do have and this often leads to better feelings. It helps to explain this to the people around you so that they’re aware.

Some time on your own is okay but isolating yourself can become too much after a while. Being around people who care about you is important because it not only means they can look after you, but also reminds you about what you still have. You may not have your mum but it's good to remember the people who you do care about and how you can still make memories with them for the future.

I hope that you know that whatever happens you can talk to Childline this Christmas and New Year - we don't close and our counsellors are ready to listen about anything.

Thanks for sharing this with me, take care.


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