Advice: over the grief….

Someone in our year at school passed away about 3 weeks ago and since then everyone at school has been quiet, reserved and crying. As much as I miss her too, I don’t know how much longer I can deal with the grieving and I don’t want to act like everything is fine again because people will judge me for not caring.

Daisy Girl, 15. Tasmania

candles arne hulsteinOur psychologist says: At a time like this, everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time frame. Often people will experience a roller coaster of emotions from shock to anxiety and from anger to sadness. Many different elements will influence how a particular individual reacts when someone passes away. These may include: how close they felt to the person who died; the circumstances (eg. whether the death was sudden or followed a long illness), their previous experiences of loss and their spiritual beliefs. It seems you‘ve gone through your own ‘grief’ process and have now reached a phase where although you miss your classmate, you feel less emotionally raw. It’s important to accept that others at school aren’t at this stage yet. You can’t hurry along their mourning period, or decide it’s time for them all to ‘move on’. Instead, it’s a matter of being patient and understanding. Allow them to express their feelings. As the days go by, there’ll be less distress and fewer tears. While it’s important to be respectful of where others are at, it’s also alright to be yourself.  There’s no right way to grieve nor do you have to squash your own feelings to ‘fit the mould’. Don’t judge yourself or force emotions that aren’t there. If you feel happy and or have a bit of a laugh, don’t feel guilty, it doesn’t mean you’re any less caring. Be sensitive to the emotional space of others, but accept it’s OK to be true to your own feelings too.

Over to you:  Our psychologist has given her ideas, but what do you think? What has been your experience with the process of grief? What helped you through it?  Any suggestions for Daisy girl?


(image credit Arne Hulstein)


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One comment

  • When I was in year 7 one of our friends died suddenly. Everyone was in shock and then really upset for a long time. The school counsellor organised some special times when we could all get together and talk about what we were finding hard which helped. Some people were really scared by what happened because meant it could happened to anybody. One thing that really helped was putting a memorial rock near the lunch area. It was a way of showing we weren’t forgetting our friend. We also have a ceremony every year to remember her.


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