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To Sam

Dad past away

Hi Sam, I really need some kind words and guidance. I'm 15 years old and my dad past away when I was 4. I still remember him a bit. At the time I did not understand what it meant to die. Anyway, now I miss him more than ever and I cry every night and pray that he will come back. I know it sounds stupid but I miss him so so so much and I would do anything to get him back. I have tried talking this out with my mum and she won't listen and she just says that she feels it too, but she called me names for crying about it. I don't have anyone to talk to about it and I feel so alone and it has been happening for over 6 months now. I have read loads of online websites that say grief should only last for a couple years or less, so am I a cry baby? Also it has got to the point where I cry about it more than twice a day. Thank you so much for reading this.
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Sam

Hi there,

It isn’t okay for your mum to call you names because of how you feel. It’s natural that when you lost your dad at four years old you were too young to fully understand what dying meant. It must have been impossible to know what it would be like to grow up without him. Death is a big and difficult thing to understand, even when we are older.

It sounds like over the last 6 months you’ve really started to feel your grief in a way that you hadn’t before. That doesn’t make you a cry baby, or any other name you might have been called. You have the right to feel how you feel whether other people feel the same or not. There is no time limit on grief. Everyone copes with loss differently, so you can take as long as you need to work through your feelings. You deserve to be supported with your loss and sadness whether it’s about something that happened eleven years ago or yesterday.

The best advice I can give is to share how you are feeling – something you started to do really well in your letter to me. Perhaps there’s an adult in your life you trust to talk to? I don’t know how your mum coped with your dad’s death. Sometimes people find it difficult to listen to the feelings of others because it makes them think about their own feelings. This is why speaking to someone who isn’t part of your family could be a good idea. They won’t have their own feelings about your dad’s death, so they will be able to completely concentrate on yours and give you the care and attention you deserve. This doesn’t mean that you can’t talk to your mum again or someone else in your family, but it’s important that you have time to talk without worrying about how the other person will feel or worry that you’ll get called names.

It sounds like you’ve looked at some websites about grief so I’m not sure if you know about Hope Again which is a really good website written especially for young people. We also have more advice about dealing with bereavement here on the ChildLine website.

ChildLine counsellors are trained to talk to young people about their experiences of loss. They know that sometimes you feel grief at the time you lose somebody, and sometimes it doesn’t start to affect you until years later. I know they’d give you the space you need to be heard. They could perhaps help you talk about your memories, and work through the feelings you have. There will also be other young people on the ChildLine message boards who have had similar experiences. Reading their posts, or writing your own, could be a way of reminding yourself that you aren’t alone.

Well done for writing to me, I know it can take a lot of courage.

Take care,
Sam

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