Children who have lost a parent

Date last updated: 1 July 2019

A parent dying is one of the hardest things that can happen to a young person. It completely changes your life, and as well as feeling sad and upset, you could also feel confused, scared, or angry. This page has a few pieces of advice, as well as links to places where you can get more support.

Talking

One of the best things you can do to feel better is to talk to people about how you are feeling. This can be difficult. You might feel like you want to keep everything to yourself, or that you can’t trust other people. While keeping your feelings to yourself might feel like the right thing to do, it can end up making those feelings worse. This doesn’t mean you have to talk about everything all the time, but when you feel you are ready to talk, make an effort to do it.

Choose someone you trust to talk to about how you feel. They could be:

  • Someone in your family
  • A good friend
  • A teacher that you get on well with
  • Somebody you know who has also lost someone.

Ask For Help

As well as talking about your feelings, it is important to ask for help when you need it. You might need some time to yourself, something to take your mind off things, or maybe just a hug. 

Other people might be unsure of what to say or do because they don’t want to upset you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. If you need some help, try to ask for it by telling people what you need. If it is difficult to ask for help face to face, try writing them a letter or sending them a private message.

You’re Not Alone

There are many places you can go to for help. As well as talking to friends and family, the organisations below specialise in helping young people like you who have lost someone important to them. 

Child Bereavement UK is a charity which helps support young people in different ways, including apps, games, support services, and friendship groups.

Help 2 Make Sense is a site with blogs and podcasts to help young people come to terms with their loss. Most of the advice here comes from young people who have dealt with death themselves.

Hope Again is aimed at helping young people aged 12-18 find their own way of dealing with loss. Their site has vlogs and stories of people who have dealt with death as teenagers. Services include access to support from trained counsellors via telephone and email. 

Grief Encounter offers advice through their website and through their helpline which you can call if you need someone to talk to. They have a webchat service if you’d prefer to type rather than call. You can also download their bereavement guide for teenagers.

ImportantEmergency help

Remember, if you are struggling with your feelings and need someone to talk to, you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or talk to them online.

If you ever feel like you want to end your life, please seek immediate help from the emergency services on 999. You can also call or text HopeLine UK on 0800 068 41 41 to talk to someone.