Changes in Relationships After Loss

Relationships with your friends

When someone in your family dies you may find that even your closest friends have no idea what to say or do. They may even avoid you as they are scared of saying the wrong thing.

Things to remember
  • You may have to make the first move. As unfair as it may seem, you may have to help your friends understand what you’re going through. Let them know that you are okay to talk about your situation (or that you’re not yet).
  • You may have to tell them how they can help and be there for you.
  • They don’t mean to upset you. If they say stuff that really annoys you or makes you angry keep in mind they aren’t doing it on purpose; it’s just that they don’t understand.
  • Your friends have their own lives. It may seem that your friends are just getting on with their lives without you and you feel a little left out. They may not understand that you can’t ‘just get over it’. Because you often grieve in private, your friends may forget that you are in fact grieving.
Changing friendships

You may lose some friends along the way. You have been through some massive changes in your life and might find you are not as interested in what your friends talk about anymore. But this may have happened anyway, cancer or no cancer.

You may want to connect with other young people who have experienced the death of a parent or brother or sister.  It may be easier to talk to them about what is happening to you because they understand. Having supportive people in your life is important when you are grieving.

Read other young people’s stories and connect with them online by joining the CanTeen Community, or find out more about our peer support groups and programs.