Emotional Support

We don’t want to overwhelm you with information, so we’ve put a little bit here, and you can find lots more by reading a support guide.

What you may be feeling

Everyone will be affected in their own way because everyone is different – even in the same family. There are no set rules or stages and there is no right or wrong way to be feeling. People might suggest how you are or should be feeling: (‘you must be feeling very…’) or tell you what you should do (‘you need to…’). It is probably best to accept that this advice is intended kindly, but listen to yourself first and foremost and find your own way.

Some feelings you may be experiencing

  • Anger
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Despair
  • Disbelief
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Numbness
  • Questioning – ‘why?’ and ‘what if?’
  • Rejection
  • Relief
  • Sadness
  • Searching
  • Sense of acceptance
  • Shame
  • Shock
  • Suicidal

What might help

  • Talking about feelings and thoughts: having people around who can listen to you and give you space to talk
  • Finding other ways of expressing how you feel: writing or drawing or another physical activity. You could do this alone, or with someone else.
  • Remembering: talking about the person, looking at pictures and videos, going to places that remind you of them, creating a box with physical memories, writing about them, or doing activities you did together.
  • Developing ‘rituals’: creating a lasting memorial or even by lighting a candle at the same time each week.
  • Doing activities you like: This may seem daunting, but doing things you have previously enjoyed can really help
  • Looking after yourself: eating well and getting enough sleep. This is extremely important, even when you feel your whole world is falling apart. It can be tough, but looking after yourself will really help.
  • Spending time outside: connecting with nature or doing exercise.
  • Developing an ‘emotioal first aid kit’: collecting together some things that can help when you are feeling sad or mad or bad (a music play list, your favourite chocolate, a ball to kick or pillow to punch).

What might not help

  • Not talking about what has happened: although it may be really difficult, talking to someone can make an enormous difference. You do not have to get through this alone. If you feel you can’t talk to someone you know, maybe you could try talking to someone who is there to support you. You can find support with our Local Support page
  • Drinking more or taking drugs: it can be tempting to try and blot out the pain of what has happened, but drinking and taking drugs make it much worse and stop you getting through this.
  • Taking risks: you may feel ‘what’s the point?’ and take risks or act carelessly, like driving too fast or putting yourself in dangerous situations with strangers. Talk to someone you trust if you think you are risking your safety or that of someone else.
  • Not getting help: you may feel you can’t ask for help as you are worried it will make you seem weak, or that you shouldn’t bother other people. But how you are feeling is very important, and people will want to help.
  • Isolating yourself: You may feel like you want to be alone for a long time, and you just want the whole world to go away. Cutting off the outside world might not help you get through this. It is better to spend time with other people, even if it’s a cup of tea in silence.

If you feel like you can’t talk to someone you know, there are lots of people who are here to help. You can find them through our Local Support