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The response to the significant loss of someone or something, to which a bond was formed. It is most often associated with the death of a person or of something living.

There is no denying that grief is a complex emotion: it has physical, cognitive, behavioural, social, cultural, spiritual, and philosophical dimensions.

What does grief look like? 

By understanding that grief is unique to each individual and that it’s how the event impacts us and not the event itself, we can appreciate that grief has no timetable or specific set of practices. It’s a journey… a process of adjustment and transition.

It is important to bear in mind that grief can manifest itself differently in children and young people to adults. Each child or young person will also have their own unique responses to loss. Individual personalities, whether they have had previous experience of significant loss, their physical age, cultural background (link to A Cross-Cultural Approach to Grief and Mourning) developmental stage are all key factors to consider. It is also important to remember that children or young people from the same family may present very differently too (link to What does grief look like in children and young people).

Teachers and support staff are well placed to support children and young people as they often know them extremely well. (Link to article: Supporting children and young people who are grieving; Memory-Making Ideas To Support Pupils and Students

Reviewed: July 2024



Supporting Children and Young People with Grief


What Does Grief Look Like in Children and Young People?

Young Children and Grief


The Stages of Grief: The Stage Model


Memory Making Ideas to Support Children and Young People


Grief and Mourning – a Cross Cultural Perspective


Adults and Grief



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