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Loss of my niece

Hi Sam. My niece died when I was 10 and a lot of people were giving my sister abuse because the press published the wrong thing. But no one tells me anything, I wasn't even allowed to go to her funeral last year. I feel like I hurt everyone by being around because I was the youngest there. I really need help as I can’t talk to my family about it and I haven‘t got any friends.

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Sam

Hi there

Getting support when someone dies can help you to start to accept the loss and grief that you might be feeling. Bereavement and loss can be especially difficult if the death was sudden or unexpected.

When a child or young person dies it can be a shock and might feel more difficult to accept. Finding a way to say goodbye to the person who has died can help you to start to accept life without them. Being able to go to the funeral is one way to do that but there are other things you can do, like writing a letter or lighting a candle in their memory. It can help to remember them on the anniversary of their death or their birthday so that you can remember that they had a big part in your life.

Being young when someone dies might mean that adults and older people try to protect you or they might think that you don’t understand or don’t need to grieve in the same way. It can be hard to express what you need if you haven’t experienced loss before and you might feel alone and isolated.

Grief affects people in different ways but it’s likely that at times you could feel sad, angry or anxious and talking about your feelings can help.  It’s important to find ways to express your feelings and also to be able to talk about the person who has died to help you to move forwards. You could talk to a teacher at school or college or a Childline counsellor for support if you can’t talk to family or friends.

Sometimes the press or social media might be commenting on what’s happened and the information isn’t always true. Grieving might be private with people who are close to you and public comments can be stressful when you’re trying to come to terms with things. Remember that other people’s opinions are not personal and try to keep a distance from hurtful things by not reading their comments and taking a break from social media or the news.

I am so glad that you sent this letter to me

Take care,

Sam

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