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My Suggestions

 

Talk to people when you’re struggling to cope: It’s easy to be overcome with thoughts and emotions and it definitely helps to get them out! They may not be able to take the pain away initially, but sometimes having someone just listen to how your feeling can make you feel 100 times better, after all a problem shared is a problem halved!

 

If you don’t feel comfortable about opening up to anyone, keep a book or a diary of things you want to let out. When Eilidh died, I often wrote letters to her detailing all the things I was feeling, and saying all the things I never got a chance to tell her. Although I knew she was never going to see them, writing them down helped me somehow come to terms with everything that had been in my head.

 

Don’t let things get on top of you: If you’re struggling at school, then inform someone like a teacher or a guidance counsellor. It can be difficult to cope with stressful workloads and deadlines whilst dealing with bereavement. Admitting you may need extra help or time with your school work won’t make you a failure, and it will benefit you in the long run!

 

Create something positive out of your loss: This is a really important one that can be hugely beneficial for coming to terms with your loss. An example of this is the great work that Eilidh’s family and supporters of the cause have put in with her charity The Eilidh Brown Memorial fund (www.eilidhbrown.co.uk). They have created a charity that will benefit other young people in the same position as Eilidh. From her death, they have created a lasting legacy that will carry her memory on for years. A way in which I created a personal reminder is by getting a tattoo for my friend, that way even when she may not be in my thoughts, she’s always with me on my person, something which I find great comfort in. Whatever you do, whether it’s big or small, make sure it's personal to you and your journey through bereavement!

 

Advice to parents, family members, friends and teachers…

 

  • No matter if the bereaved person says they want to be left alone now, more than ever, your support is needed. 

  • You might not have all the answers or the best advice but you do have a shoulder for them to cry on. The most important thing you can do for a grieving person is to simply be there; your support and caring presence will show them that they don’t have to go it alone. 

  • Be aware that bereavement affects everybody differently and for some it can be extremely difficult for them to cope. Look out for changes in behaviour such as: withdrawing from others, alcohol and drug misuse, starting to lose interest in school and classes and just losing an overall interest in life. 

  • All of these things can signal that the young person may need extra help with coping, please don’t ignore these warning signs!

 


 

“Promise me you’ll always remember that you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”

- Winnie the Pooh