How to manage grief during back to school time

How to manage grief during back to school time

Back to school can be a tough time for anyone that’s lost a child. Here are some tips to help you cope during this difficult time.

Back to school means different things for different parents. There may be a sense of excitement and relief that the holidays are finally over, or maybe nerves and apprehension for first time parents.

For bereaved parents and loved ones, this back to school period can be intensely challenging. It may come as a harsh reminder that your special child will not be going to school this year, another milestone event they will miss.

Outpourings of support are common during special holidays, like Christmas or Mother’s/Father’s Day, or significant personal days like birthdays and death days.

But back to school is different. Families may feel alone and isolated. It is often these fairly normal life occurrences that can trigger bereaved families and throw them back into the depths of their grief.

At Red Nose we know that these seemingly innocuous days can be incredibly challenging. Here are some tips to help you manage this emotional time.

  1. Breathe. Try to slow your breathing, focussing on each inhale and exhale. It may help to count your breath, or notice the rise and fall of your chest and stomach as you breathe.
  2. Be kind to yourself. It’s OK to feel what you feel. Let go of harsh judgements and try not to say anything to yourself you wouldn’t say to a friend.
  3. Talk about how you’re feeling. Connect with other people. Talking about what’s going on inside can help us process it.
  4. Spend some time in nature. Being in nature can help to ground us, and may calm the nervous system. Plus, it helps keep you away from constant back to school ads.

If you do need someone to talk we are always here 24/7 to support you. Please call Red Nose Grief and Loss Support Line, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week every day of the year. Call us anytime on 1300 308 307.


Last reviewed: 29/9/20