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My boyfriend has an untreatable tumour

Hey Sam, Yesterday i found out that my boyfriend had a brain tumour that has spread so much that it is now untreatable and i found out he only has 13months to live and i feel lost and i don't know how to explain it but its tearing me apart. I lost my mum not that long ago and my older sister and i feel like if i lose him too it will break me apart and i don't know what to do. I feel so alone and crushed even though im surrounded by my friends at school i feel like the world keeps moving for everyone but me

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Learning that someone you care about is going to die is a really hard thing to cope with. There's no right or wrong way to react to news like this - and you might have lots of different thoughts and emotions mixed up together. It's important to try and take steps to look after your feelings and mental health in the coming weeks and months. It’s OK if you need help and support.

You may be worried about how to act around your boyfriend now and how this might change your relationship. And it's likely that some things will change. He could want to spend more time with his family, or he may have things that he’d like to do before he dies. The best thing to do is talk to him – find out what he’d like and tell him how you’re feeling as well. You may also feel a lot of pressure to make all the time he has left happy and rewarding, but remember that's not always going to be possible. You're both going to have good days and bad days and that's okay. Childline has advice about asking for help, and different ways to cope with how you’re feeling.

It's common to feel a bit lost and alone when everyone around you is carrying on as normal. When someone dies it can sometimes feel strange when everything and everyone carry on with life as normal.  It’s normal to feel a bit lost and alone. People around you may act as though nothing’s wrong or cope with this in other ways - but it's also okay for you to stop and take time out for a while if you need to. It can help to let the people around you know what’s going so that can be more understanding about how you’re feeling.

Knowing someone with a terminal illness is very hard because you feel grief for them both before and after they die. It does however give you a chance to think of the things you want to say and ask your loved one before they pass, and to say goodbye. As hard as it feels – it can help to think about these things and talk about them, so you can make the most of the time you have left together.

With terminal illness, it's also common to feel emotions like relief when the person dies - relief that they're not suffering but also that you can begin to move on. You may also feel guilt about how you feel, and it’s important to remember that there’s no right and wrong way to grieve. It's okay to feel whatever you feel. Childline has lots of advice about how to cope when someone dies that could also help.

I know this is a difficult time for you. Thank you for writing to me and I hope that this letter has helped a little. Childline counsellors are always here to listen anytime you need to speak or chat to someone. You can also post on the message boards to get advice and support from other young people.

Take care,


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