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To Sam

My friend

Yesterday I found out from one of my friends that one of my other friend's mother had died. I was shocked about this news and I felt so bad for my friend and it is just him and his little brother left.

A group of us were called to the head teacher's office where we were spoken to about grief and what our friend will be going through and we were told what to do, basically just let him know we were there if he needed us. I messaged him telling him how sorry I was about his loss and if he needed anything I was here.

I still feel lost like I'm not doing enough to help him and his brother who I am also friends with. I just don't know what to do.

Any ideas?

Ask Sam

Sam

Hello,

Thank you for writing to me about this.

I can hear that you want to think about the best ways to support your friend. You said you've told your friend that you will be there if he needs anything - please remember that by being there to listen you are already supporting him. When someone dies people can react in lots of different ways. It can be a confusing time for many young people with feelings that may be new and can be hard to cope with. It is really good that you want to help your friend at this time and be there for him. I can't tell you what to do but sometimes just letting someone know that you are there for them can be a big help.

Reading the ‘When someone dies’ pages in our Explore page may give you some more ideas about how your friend may be feeling. You could also have a look at the Bereavement message boards to see what has helped other young people cope. Some young people may become withdrawn while others may appear as if nothing is wrong - it really is different for everyone. Hopefully, you will know your friend well enough to see when he is ready to talk and get help from a good friend like you.

It seems like your teacher gave you good advice. Remember that your teacher will be able to offer support to your friend as well. Another place you may get some ideas about how to support your friend is www.rd4u.org.uk which has a "lads only" section. If you felt it would be helpful you could show some of this information to your friend or his brother, when they are ready.

It can be upsetting to see a friend feeling low so it’s important that you also feel supported. It seems like your head teacher thinks your support will be important to your friend. If you continue to feel worried about your friend and how to help him perhaps you could speak to your head teacher again. If you’d like to talk more about how you’re feeling you could also speak to a ChildLine counsellor online, on the phone by calling 0800 1111 or by sending them an email. You could also let your friend know that ChildLine is there for him to talk to if he wanted to speak to someone he doesn’t know.

Take care

Sam

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