Losing someone is one of the most challenging events in life. We are never really prepared for it and it brings out overwhelming emotions.

Even though it is part of the cycle of life, it can still be a challenging and life-changing event. It can bring up many questions, like ‘why did this happen?’ and ‘why them?’ why now?” These are normal questions that can arise after the loss of a loved one. As hard as it is to cope with it, it will get better over time.

Grief and mourning are a part of the healing process after losing a loved one, friend or even a beloved pet. This will become less intense with time.

It is important to know that everyone reacts and deals with the loss of someone differently. There is no ‘right way’ of doing it. Everyone has their own emotions and ways of dealing with it.

How do we mourn?

  • Crying a lot, or not at all.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping all the time
  • Eating a lot or barely have an appetite at all.
  • Experiencing overwhelming emotions, or feeling quite numb.
  • Physical symptoms like having headaches, stomach aches or being nauseous
  • Difficulty concentrating or keeping up at school.
  • Having less, or hardly any energy.
  • Behaving differently than you used to at home, school or with friends


These feelings are normal and common responses to loss. The emotions can be overwhelming, your moods can change quickly and grieving can take quite some time. But be assured that these feelings are healthy and appropriate; it will help you cope with your loss.

When we lose someone, we can feel powerless and overwhelmed:

There are a few things you can do to help yourself with this:

  • Find supportive people. Surround yourself with people who you trust, who you feel comfortable with and supported by. Really try to stay connected to the loving people around you.
  • Express your feelings as much as you can. Maybe you feel a little uncomfortable, or embarrassed to express your feelings. But it takes a lot of courage and strength to ‘grieve’ and let it all out. Talk to people you trust. Remember we all experience this at one point, so there are a lot of people who can relate to what you are going through. You can also express yourself through creative activates like painting, writing or dancing.
  • Take care of yourself, see if there are things that make you feel a little bit better. Talking to a friend, having a healthy meal, listening to certain music, going into nature. Be alert in what helps to relieve your sadness a bit, and do that more often.
  • Keep doing the activities you have always liked. Like your sport, doing homework or gaming with friends, hanging out with friends. It can be nice to feel that not everything has changed and you are able to find some familiar distraction.
  • Be kind and patient with yourself. There is nothing you could have done to prevent this situation, it is not your fault. You are doing the best you can. Dealing with a loss is a major thing. Take it one day at a time. You may be very proud of coping with this whichever way you are.
  • Try to think of the good memories you have made. See if you can find a way to feel grateful for the time you did get to spend together as well. You may like to collect these memories in a journal, collecting photos in an album or creating artwork.
  • Don’t be afraid to have fun or take your mind off it a bit. Moments of happiness or joy are nothing to feel guilty about. It is very important to have these moments. They can give you strength to deal with the tough moments as well. Also, the person who you have lost would want you to be happy, right? It is a good thing when you are still able to enjoy yourself as well.
  • Seek support when it is becoming too much for you to handle. Try to talk to a trusted adult, school counselor or your GP. They can listen to you and give advice in what might be most helpful for you. There are also support groups for adolescents who have had similar experiences
  • Encourage them to express themselves. Maybe share memories of that person. Or you may share your experiences with loss as well. It is always helpful and supporting to try talking to them about how they feel.
  • Spend time together, offer to do the same activities you once enjoyed. Some distractions can help them relax, recharge and deal with the rough moments as well.
  • Share some of the tips and tools mentioned above about taking care of yourself: working out, doing fun and creative activities, etcetera.
  • Be patient with them. Grieving can take a long time, and sometimes the emotions come back unexpectedly. Just be patient, give them some space and keep being there for them. Don’t force them to talk.
  • Encourage them to seek help from a trusted adult, school counselor or doctor when needed. They give advice in what might be most helpful for them. There are also support groups for adolescents who have had similar experiences.