Giving help later on

Giving help after the first few weeks..

Children and young people’s grief can be very changeable. This is normal but different to how many adults grieve. It can appear that they have been unaffected by the death. Sometimes their grief reaction may be delayed or they may be distracted from their grief in the business of school. However, this does not mean that they are not grieving but may need time for their grief to surface.

Anxiety about other family members, their safety and the way they are coping can affect attendance at school. Regardless of the views of others these are real concerns for the young person that need to be addressed compassionately and constructively.

Depending on the nature of the death, the relationship to the deceased and the young person’s individual personality their reactions may be varied. Worries and fears about themselves and their grief can cause anxiety, problems with behaviour, sleeping, and concentration and peer difficulties.

Anniversaries and birthdays of the person who died as well as their own, can cause anxiety and intensify their grief in the weeks before the event not just on the day.

Sometimes children and young people’s grief can  be re-triggered by  other major events such as a house or school move, exam stress and academic pressure, new family relationships

When the death happened more than a year ago…..

Even though the death of their significant person happened more than a year ago children and young people may still be grieving for them. The feelings may not be as strong as at first but they can be worried by them. They often feel that they are doing something wrong or that this should not be happening to them. Often people around them have forgotten about the death or have lost interest in being sympathetic to their grief.

It is normal for grief reactions to last several years for some people. For others, it is only after the first or second anniversary that the death becomes real and their feelings of grief come to the surface. Then it might feel that they are right back at the beginning.

New situations and changes such as moving school or house, exams, changes in the family or friends and hearing about someone else who has died can remind them of what has happened and cause them to feel their grief again.

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