My dad died suddenly in 2010 when I was 14. As it was so unexpected, I had no time to prepare myself and had very mixed emotions: sadness, anger, guilt. At the time I really didn’t want to talk to anybody, and I knew that having counselling wouldn’t be right for me. Child Bereavement UK didn’t ever push me into anything and suggested Young People’s Advisory Group. Although I was initially very reluctant, as I worried that it would be a ‘sitting in a circle talking about your feelings’ kind of group, I was immediately put at ease during the first session.

The sessions were very relaxed and social, where you could meet other young people who were in a similar situation as you. There was no pressure to talk about anything if you didn’t want to.

We used creative ways to express our feelings, through photographs, drawings, films and music. We made resources to help other bereaved young people, while also helping ourselves.

I am now at university, and it is only thinking back now that I realise how much it helped me. I am much happier and don’t feel as much sadness or anger as I used to. I wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own without the support of Child Bereavement UK. I also know that if I ever felt I needed further support I could contact Child Bereavement UK.

If I were to give advice to someone in the same position, it would definitely be to seek support and find out the options available to you, as if you are reluctant or feel that something won’t work for you there may be something that will. It will definitely help in the long term to seek support, even if you don’t feel that you need it at the time.

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