How might a pupil express their grief?

“This might be the first time that a child has experienced the death of somebody close.”

Pupils will experience a range of emotions when they are bereaved. What they show will not always match what they feel. Even a pupil who is behaving well may have difficult emotions underneath. Many bereaved young people tell us they fix their facial expressions into a “mask” to help hide their feelings and ‘fit in’ at school.

Worden’s work on the tasks of mourning should remind us that bereaved pupils may be exhausted by managing their grief. Feeling tired may well intensify these emotions, making it difficult for the pupil to cope at school. A bereaved pupil may welcome time out to have a rest if they are struggling.

Pupils of all ages can find it difficult to manage strong feelings and emotions, and grief can exacerbate this.