YHS Cares

York High School's dedicated website to pupil health and wellbeing.

Bereavement (Grief)

  • Definition
    Grief is a response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something that has died, for example the death of a parent, caregiver, sibling or grandparent is an experience they are faced with early in life.
    Although primarily concerned with the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions. While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement refers to the state of loss, and grief is the reaction to loss.
  • Signs
    Emotional Symptoms of Grieving

    A person who is dealing with grief will most likely display some of the emotional symptoms associated with grieving;


    While these emotional symptoms are normal in the days and weeks after a traumatic event, they can be indicators of a more serious disorder if they do not fade over time.

    Physical Symptoms of Grieving

    It may come as a surprise that grief is not entirely emotional. There are very real effects that grief can have on the body. Some of the physical symptoms of grieving;

    Digestive problems
    Chest pain
    Sore muscles

    Though these symptoms are normal during the grieving process, you should remember to contact your doctor if you experience any severe physical symptoms.

    Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Grief

    Grief can have both short-term and long-term effects for affected individuals.

    Short-term effects might include the inability to attend work or school, or a lack of desire to attend social gatherings.

    Long-term effects can be more serious in nature and can be different, depending on the type of loss you or your loved one has experienced. When untreated, grief can lead to physical and mental health problems in some people.
  • Advice
    Get creative:

    Write a poem or letter to your loved one who has died.
    Keep a diary of how you are feeling so that you can pour your feelings on to the page.
    Make a memory box. Gather together letters, badges, photographs, and keepsakes you have from your loved one and put them in to a special memory box that you can reopen and reminisce over when you need to.
    Try to focus on some of the good times you and your loved one shared together.
    Remember that people react to loss in different ways.
    Talk to people; don’t let your hurt grow until you break down.
    Just take one day at a time.
    Visit the grave if you are ready to. It might make you feel closer to your loved one.
    It is OK to feel sad, angry and scared and to cry. It is also OK to feel happy and enjoy things.
    It is OK if the loved one you have lost is not in your thoughts all the time.
    Hug those loved ones who are still here.
    Remember that you are not alone and that help is out there if you need it.

    Bereavement can seem to last forever, but it does get easier with time.
  • Where can I get help?
    In school you can talk to the following people:
    A friend
    Your Tutor
    Head of House
    Miss Masterman – Pupil Welfare Officer
    Noreen Reid – Pastoral Mentor (Drop in sessions Tuesday & Wednesday during break and lunchtime)

    In the community:
    Talk to your parents or GP

    Childline (Free) 0800 1111
    Cruse 0808 808 1677
    Samaritans 116 123

    Young Minds
    Mind Cruse Child Bereavement UK
    Child Bereavement UK App<