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To Sam

The loss of my mum

so in august it will be 4 years since my mums passed away and i still feel disstressed and upset the closer it gets to the date, how can i learn to greive better and cooe better with the loss if my mum ?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

It can be confusing and sometimes surprising when the anniversary of the death of a loved one still feels like this years after they’ve passed away.

When someone you love or care about dies, it’s normal to grieve. Grief is when you feel lots of different emotions and it can be the body’s way of processing what's happened. Grief can also be different for everyone and happen at different times.

When someone's grieving, they can feel angry, sad and numb and can go from feeling guilty to questioning why it had to happen to them or their loved one. Often people say that grief can stop with time, but this isn’t always the case.

Sometimes when there's an important date or event, like a birthday, exam result or the anniversary of their death, it can make you feel as if the person only died recently. Sometimes, though, it may not be an important date or something you’d expect — it could be something as simple as what you eat or watch, a song you hear or a scent you smell. These are all things that can bring memories flooding back and make you grieve all over again. While with time you can learn to cope with the loss of a loved one, it’s also normal for there to be other times when the pain you feel still feels intense or as if it’s just happened.

Some people can feel frustrated when this happens because they generally feel they’re coping better with the loss. But then something happens, and it can feel like going through it all over again. Whenever this happens it’s good to talk to someone you trust. This can be a trusted adult in your life, such as a family member or teacher. Remember, you can also speak to a Childline counsellor about everything.

Finding ways to cope can help and you might find that different things help at different times. Some may prefer to listen to music, others may prefer to do something like creating memory stones. Some people may want to look at photos of their loved one, create a memory box or write an unsent letter to them to say exactly how they feel, especially around important dates like this one. It can also help to talk about the person, what they were like and the times you spent together. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do any of this, it’s just trying to find what will help you to cope and what feels right for you.

It can also be good to have peer support and you may find it helpful to go on Childline’s message boards to speak to other young people that talk about what it’s like after someone like a parent dies and how they cope, no matter when this happened.

Hope this helps.

Take care,


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