If you have clicked on this part of the website, you are probably a child or young person who has been bereaved of someone close.
This is likely to be a very difficult time for you, and you may find it difficult sharing your feelings with other people you know; especially if those close to you are upset themselves. If you live or go to school/college in the Borough of Kingston upon Thames, The Saying Goodbye Project is available to support you.
No two people grieve in the same way, even if they have been bereaved of the same person. Even brothers and sisters will have shared a different relationship with the person who has died and they will therefore have different ways of feeling and grieving for them.
You may find that you are going through many different emotions, like sadness, anger, regret, fear, worry, or confusion. You may also experience feelings of going mad, have no feelings – a kind of numbness - or be unsure what your feelings are. All this may be overwhelming and difficult to cope with.
Although you may not personally know anyone else that this has happened to you are not alone. We are able to help you in a variety of ways; initially you will meet with a member of the team, all of whom are experienced in supporting young people through bereavement. Together you will decide on what would help you most. Or you can just ring us or email us for a chat.
If you think we may be able to help and would like to talk to someone from The Saying Goodbye Project please contact us or ask your parent or another adult to contact us on your behalf.
Our phone number is 020 8547 1552 or click here
Moving up to Secondary School
Moving from primary to secondary school is a challenging time; leaving behind the comfort and familiarity of your primary school that you may have attended since you were 4 or 5 years old, and with that comes the loss of teachers, pupils, and may be some friends too, although hopefully some of them will be going to the same secondary school as you.
During your time at primary school, many changes will have taken place in your life: meeting new friends and teachers, growing up and developing intellectually and physically, becoming more independent – perhaps going to school on your own.
As well as being bereaved, there will have been changes in your home life during these years. Maybe having a younger brother or sister, joining activities outside school, or moving house for instance.
Along with the loss that comes with leaving your primary school, come the anticipation, excitement and curiosity of starting a new school. However, this transition can be a stressful experience, and it is important to acknowledge this. You may feel anxious; uncertain; and a sense of bewilderment and ‘not knowing’.
Being bereaved can add to these feelings of uncertainty. Facing up to a big change in your life and the sense of loss that accompanies it can cause you to think again about the person who died. Maybe that person, perhaps one of your parents, was the one who usually would have been able to support you during this time, maybe it was a sibling or a friend, with whom you would have shared the experience of moving school, or perhaps a grandparent who would have been interested in your school and subject choices.
Meeting and making new friends may be rather daunting, as you begin to get to know new people they will naturally want to know all about you, as you will them. You may not want to share facts and feelings about your bereavement or how it has impacted on your life straight away.
Here are some practical tips that may help you through this transitional period:
- Be responsive; join in conversations, even if you feel nervous or apprehensive
- If a question feels ‘awkward’ be confident in putting your point across – My dad died last year, but I don’t really want to talk about it just now. – if this new friendship develops, you can share more as time passes.
- If a friend has moved to your new school with you, share your concerns with them – if you don’t seek help, people will think you are managing OK. Share these concerns at home too – parents and carers can often offer useful advice!
- Hopefully some of the staff at your new school may be aware that you have been bereaved – you can check this out with your tutor or another member of staff who you feel at ease with.
- The secondary schools in Kingston are aware of the Saying Goodbye Project and the help we can provide for you. Talk to a member of staff or your parent / carer if you think it would be helpful to meet with one of our bereavement counsellors
Here are some other websites you may find helpful
A website designed for young people by young people who have experienced bereavement.
National organisations that offer guidance, information and support to children, young people, their parents and carers following a bereavement.
Click here to see a list of books that may also help.