When someone dies there is no normal way to feel. Everyone deals with losing someone differently and that includes showing the way that they are feeling in different ways.
This means that you might feel differently to the people around you but that is perfectly ok. Just remember to be patient with your family and respect their feelings too.
Here are some of the feelings that you might have:
- Numbness - it can take a while for a loss to sink in and you might feel nothing at all to start with. Sometimes it can take many months or even years to feel anything because of shock or disbelief.
- Confusion - you might feel unable to understand how the world can carry on as normal, especially when your world has been shattered. It will take time to adjust to something that is life changing and to find your way in a new set of circumstances.
- Anger - you could feel angry with the person that has died for leaving you, with God for letting this happen, with the people that told you the bad news and with yourself for not doing more even though it is not your fault. Anger is a very common feeling when someone has died and is often because we feel that this shouldn't have happened to us.
- Fear - when someone you depend on dies it is understable that you will be anxious about your future, what will happen and whether other people are going to leave you. You might worry about all sorts of things including what happens to a person when they die or whether your feelings will get better.
- Longing - you might hear familiar voices, sounds or imagine you can feel a presence. For some people these feelings are a great comfort but they can also leave a feeling of emptiness and longing when we desperately want to see, feel or talk to the person who has died.
- Sadness and despair - you might feel lonely, sad, down and unable to see anything positive on some days. Remember that you can't feel happy or positive all the time and when someone close has died you are bound to experience times of sadness.
- Guilt - you might think you could have done more to save them, or have said things you didn't mean, or there are things you never had a chance to say. Remember that it is not your fault and there are still ways that you can say the things you never had a chance to.
- Lack of concentration - it might be difficult to concentrate at school, when people are talking to you or even doing everyday tasks. You should talk to your teacher if you have important exams coming up so that they can help you.
- Relief - when someone has been in pain for a long time and very ill it is ok to feel relieved that they are no longer suffering and at peace.
- Physical feelings - as well as your feelings hurting, you might feel unwell physically. You could feel sick, have an empty feeling inside, tight chest, change of appetite or feel very tired. If you continue to feel ill you should see your GP.
Remember that it is perfectly ok to:
- Feel feelings other than those mentioned above
- Feel differently to those around you
- Express your feelings in a way that you feel comfortable with
- Ask for help if you feel that it is getting too much for you to cope with
It is not acceptable to:
- Take drugs or alcohol to numb your feelings
- Hurt, bully or be abusive to others because you are angry
- Sleep around or seek comfort by having meaningless relationships
- Give up on your school work or your future