Coping with loss and grief

When someone dies or you’ve experienced a loss, it can be hard to know what to do. Lots of things can feel like they’re changing or hard to cope with, but we’re here to help you.

What is grief?

Grief is the feeling you have when you’re going through a loss. Usually, people feel grief after a person or animal dies, but not always. People can also experience grief when nobody has died.

Anyone can go through loss and grief, and it can affect people in lots of different ways. You might have feelings of loss after:

  • someone close to you or a pet dies
  • moving to a new place or school
  • someone moves away or stops talking to you
  • your support changes or you're not getting the same support
  • you or someone else experiences a long-term illness or injury.

Going through grief and loss can feel overwhelming. It can make you feel stressed, angry, upset or even numb. For some people it can also mean you’ve not got the support you used to have, or that your life is going to change in lots of ways.

No matter what’s happened or how you’re feeling, talking about it can help. You can speak to a Childline counsellor any time.

Ways to cope with grief and loss

It’s natural to have times when it’s hard to cope after a loss or when someone’s died. There’s no right or wrong way to feel, but there are things that can help:

Feeling loss when someone hasn't died

There are lots of ways you might feel like you've lost someone or something, even when no one has died. You might:

Losing someone or something can bring up many of the same feelings as when someone has died. Especially if you can't talk to the person you've lost.

Whatever's happened, it can really help to talk about how you're feeling to someone you trust or with Childline. If you're struggling, sometimes it can help to create something in the Art box.