When someone dies

There's no right or wrong way to feel when someone dies. Everyone experiences bereavement differently. You don't have to cope on your own, and we're always here for you.

Content warning: This page contains mentions of suicide.

Grieving and dealing with loss

The death of someone you care about can be very difficult. These feelings are sometimes called grief. It's natural to have strong reactions when someone you love or are close to dies.

You might feel:

  • like you can't handle things
  • confused
  • scared, numb or that you've lost control
  • worried that you may never feel okay again.

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to feel better straight away. These feelings will change over time. It's important to try to accept how you feel.

You might also be upset about the death of an animal or pet. Or when someone's still alive but you're not able to see or talk to them anymore. This can hurt as much as a relative or friend dying.

4 things to remember

  • There's no right or wrong way to feel.
  • It's okay to ask questions or need help.
  • You're not alone, it's okay to talk and we're here to listen.
  • It can take time, but things can get easier.

Coping with grief and loss

Coping when someone dies

It’s natural to have times when it’s hard to cope or deal with death, especially when it’s someone close to you, it’s been sudden or you’re going through a lot of changes.

You can’t take the feelings away, but there are things that can help you get through a tough time:

Feelings after someone has died

Everyone reacts to death differently. And there's no right or wrong way to feel. When someone dies, you might feel:

Content warning: This section includes mentions of suicide.

There’s no right or wrong way to feel after someone dies, and everyone can react differently. You might feel:

  • Shocked, numb or empty
  • Overwhelmed, upset or depressed
  • Angry
  • Guilty
  • Scared or confused
  • Relieved
  • Nothing at all

How you’re feeling can change from moment to moment. Nobody can tell you how you should feel, but it can be hard to express yourself when people tell you to move on or are reacting differently to you.

If you’re feeling alone after someone dies or you’re worried about being honest about how you feel, then it can help to find a space that you feel comfortable to talk. You could try speaking to an adult you trust, or post anonymously on the message boards . Talking to Childline can give you a space to be honest, without worrying about how it’ll affect other people.

Funerals and saying goodbye to someone who has died

Helping someone else

Supporting someone going through a bereavement can be tough, especially if you’re struggling yourself. It’s important to remember that grieving together can be a way to help you both cope.

If you want to support someone else, there are things you can do:

  • let them know that you're there to listen to them
  • give them space if they want to be alone
  • make time and be there for them if they want to cry or talk about their feelings
  • support them to remember the person who died
  • remind them that there's no right or wrong way to feel, that it can take time to feel differently, and that it's okay if they're still struggling
  • help with practical things, like chores, food, or even a cup of tea.

Find out more about supporting a friend.