Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Hi Sam,

Thank you for reading my letter. So December last year my boyfriend died due to an unexplained reason, just suddenly out of the blue and then June this year my friend took his own life. I am 15 and it is a lot for me to deal with. I wondered if you had any ideas to help me cope? I would love to be able to also help my peers at school and give them advice if they need it. We have all had a tough school year and going into our last year of school i would like it to be a happy one.

I just need something to help me cope when i feel like i can't and there is no use trying to.

Thank you in advance.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Coping with someone dying is difficult no matter how old you are and who you’ve lost. It hurts a lot and it’s natural to have strong reactions. There’s no right or wrong way to feel and different people feel different things. It’s okay to cope in whichever way works for you and to let someone know if you’re struggling.

Sometimes people feel confused, scared, and worried or maybe feel out of control and unable to cope with someone dying.  You might also feel scared that the feelings aren’t going away. It’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself and to let your grief work out in its own time.

When someone dies unexpectedly you may feel emotions like shock, anxiety or disbelief. If the person ended their own life, it can be confusing and frightening and you may wonder what you could have done to stop it. This can make you experience a period of guilt or anger at what they’ve done.

If the person was ill or suffering you might even feel relieved that they’re no longer in pain. You may feel happy that someone who was hurting you or abusing you has died. These thoughts and feeling s are normal. However you feel is okay, there are no wrong feelings.

There are some things you can do to help yourself cope such as talking to someone you trust, like a family member, a friend or a Childline counsellor.  If there are a few of you who are sharing the same grief, maybe for a friend who’s died, you could meet together, support each other and remember the person.

You could also keep a diary or journal of your thoughts and feelings which can help you to understand things more this could be for yourself or you could share it with someone.

Another idea that people use is to make a memory book or memory box where they can keep things that remind them of the person who died, like memory stones. It would also be okay to write letters to the person who died to express how you feel and to let them know what they meant to you. These could be kept in the memory box, shared or destroyed.

There are more ideas for coping when someone dies and you might like to check out the message boards where you can see how other young people have been coping in a similar situation.

Take care for now.


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