PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Dealing With Death: Beyond The Sadness

Some parts of the grieving process come and go early on. Others, on the other hand, come and stay-for months, years, and even, if we don't deal with them, the rest of our lives.

Anger and resentment

  • "I'm angry at the doctors because they couldn't save my baby brother."
  • "My dad died, and I'm angry at him for leaving me."
  • "I'm angry at the whole world because death isn't fair."

Almost everyone goes through periods of anger after someone they love dies. Sometimes we feel mad at a specific someone, like a doctor, or even the person we lost. Other times, we find ourselves angry in general. Even though death is a natural part of life, it doesn't seem fair, and that can make us furious.

If you're feeling lots of rage over someone's death, it's important to remember that this anger is caused by grief. Hopefully, with the help of others, you will come to accept that the world isn't out to get you, and that this death didn't happen to make you miserable-it just happened, period.

Guilt and self-blame

  • "If I had been a better person, my dad would still be alive."
  • "It's my fault the car accident happened. I got angry last week and told my Mom I wished she were dead."
  • "I feel so terrible. The last time I saw my best friend, we had a fight, and now he's dead."

It's so easy for us to think, "If only I had done this, or not done that, this person would never have died." It can be the worst feeling in the world and keep us from ever fully working through our grief. It's important to not even go there. If you find that feelings of guilt and blaming yourself keep eating at you, it's time to get help dealing with them.

Fear

  • "My mom died, and now I'm afraid the same thing is going to happen to my dad."
  • "My sister got hit by a car, and now I'm always thinking about how I could be hit by a car too."
  • "I'm afraid of what is going to happen to my family now that my dad is no longer here to earn money."

When someone close to us dies, it's normal to have fears about our own death, or who might die next. We become painfully aware of how fragile life can be, and the reality of death is clearer than ever. We might also be afraid of big changes in our family, and wonder how everyone will cope without the person who died.

Although death is natural and will happen to all of us someday, being obsessed with and worrying about it can keep us from the exact thing we're trying to hold on to: LIFE.

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