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To Sam

I can't eat

Two days ago, someone that I used to be in a relationship with got into a car accident and died. I can't eat anything. It's not that I'm not hungry, it's just nothing seems like it tastes good and nothing has a flavor anymore. When I do manage to force myself to eat, I immediately want to throw up. I know that this isn't good, what can I do to stop having the feeling to throw up everything I eat?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

When someone we know dies it can be a shock to the system. The different emotions and physical reactions you go through are your body’s way of coping, but they can make everyday life exhausting.

Everyone’s reaction to death is different. It can depend on their relationship with the person who died, how they died, and any religious or cultural beliefs you have. However, a change of appetite and loss of interest in food is a sign you are grieving. Other symptoms include changes in sleep, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, and losing interest in things you enjoy. 

After a death people can go through a grief cycle. They might feel denial, anger, sadness, guilt, shock, confusion and relief, but it’s important to remember that with time and the right support feelings can and do change.

The loss you have experienced is often very upsetting. When someone dies suddenly, people are left with no chance to say goodbye. They may have unanswered questions and things they want to say.

You need to give yourself time to grieve. I think it would help to accept that for a while you might feel down and life will feel hard. Don’t put yourself under any pressure to do more than you can cope with and take each day as it comes. If you need to rest more then you should do this. It's okay to say no to things that might be too tiring. 

Don’t bottle up your feelings. Talk to someone you know who is a good listener or a ChildLine counsellor. You could also write in a journal. The more you keep your feelings inside the worse you will probably feel.

I think it would also be helpful if you can find a way to say goodbye, such as attending the funeral or memorial. It’s a way to share memories and let go of feelings. If you can’t go to the funeral or don't want to, then you could do something else such as going to a place that was special for both of you. You could spend as long as you need to there and take time to remember your ex-partner. You could do this with others who also knew them if you don’t want to be alone.

There may be things you never got to say. You could write them a letter, or record a message on a CD or on a computer. You could then put the letter or recording somewhere safe and out of sight. Another option is using the RD4U page to ‘send a message’.

As time goes on and you are working through your grief, your appetite might return and the emotional pain will lessen. 

Remember there is no right or wrong way to grieve. It's important to do what feels right for you.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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