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To Sam

My great ucle passed away.

On Christmas da of 2016, I woke up all happy to open my presents. I was really excited. After I opened everything, my mum came into my room, her face expressionless. She told me that my great uncla had died that morning. I was really sad, but I didn't cry, and that is what I find wierd. I loved him very much. I also feel like I didn't value the time that I spent with him when he was alive, but of course I didn't know I would never see him again then. I know I cannot hang on to the past but why did I not feel anything then? Please help me Sam... I don't know how to feel.

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Sam

Hi there,

When someone close to you dies it can be one of the hardest experiences in life to go through, especially when that person is a loved one. It can feel like things will never be okay again.

You say that you didn't feel anything when you found out at the time, but this can be a natural reaction to loss. Sometimes it can take time to process things, and sometimes it can be difficult to know where these feelings have come from or why they are there now – remember it's okay to give yourself this time to work through this.

People cope with bereavement in lots of different ways, and there's no right or wrong way to cope or how to feel. There's also no proper time scale for when people might start to feel better. You'll know how you feel and nobody else can tell you what you should be feeling, but it's important to remember that you don't have to put pressure on yourself to get rid of those feelings or to move on quickly.

It's quite normal to need extra support when someone dies, and it's okay to ask for it. Only you will know the kind of support you need. It could be anything from finding ways to let out your feelings, to talking to an adult or friend who you can trust, or getting support from a counsellor or therapist.

Some people also like to keep a memory box or create a space to remind them of the person who died, with photos, gifts or other special things that would them to hold on to the good things that they remember about the person who died.

You might also find it helpful to look at a website called ‘Winston's Wish’ - it has some helpful ideas on how you can remember someone who's passed.

Please remember ChildLine is always here for you and our counsellors are ready to talk if you'd like to do that.

Take care,

Sam

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