Why do I feel like this?

When someone close to you dies there are many feelings and emotions that you might experience.


Sometimes our feelings may worry us and we may not understand why we are feeling as we are. Sometimes the feelings are in our head and sometimes we feel different feelings in our bodies. Not everyone feels the same things.

Sometimes when someone we love, or is close, to us dies unexpectedly we cannot believe that it has happened. We are in a state of shock. Our bodies sometimes react to the news by behaving in strange ways.


  • Maybe our legs go like jelly, or our stomachs feel like we have giant butterflies moving around inside.

  • We may feel faint, sick or feel shaky.

  • We may feel dizzy or want to cry, or even scream.

  • Sometimes we feel really angry and do not know why.

  • We may not want to believe that it has happened. 

These are all normal feelings and we are not going mad or being naughty.

Even when someone is very ill and we know that they may die, it can be just as difficult to understand and manage our feelings and we can also feel some or all the feelings listed above.


When someone dies who is old, it is also difficult to for us to manage how we feel because the person is no longer there to love and be with us as they have been. We may have known them all our lives and we miss them very much.


When someone dies who is very young, such as a baby, it can be particularly difficult to understand. We may not have had the chance to meet them or known them very long, but they can still be loved and missed.

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Sometimes we just cannot feel anything because it feels too awful to think about it. We feel numb. We cannot cry or talk. We just want to hide away and forget.

All the feelings described can be part of what is called grief. Grief is something which we feel when someone dies and at first it can stop us doing what we would normally do, but gradually we adjust and are able to manage the difficult emotions we feel. It can take time.

       What can help?

  • Talking about our feelings and emotions with someone who will help us understand how we are feeling


  • Doing the things, we would normally do, going to school, playing football, walking our dog, cuddling the cat, reading, playing with friends and talking about and remembering the person who has died.

  • Think about joining a group with other children who know what it is like to have someone close die.



If you think you may like to join a Stand-by-me group please ask your parent or carer to get in touch at info@stand-by-me.org.uk