Young people mature at different rates and their understanding and responses to bereavement are likely to be based as much on their experience of life as on their chronological age.
By secondary school age, most pupils will understand the inevitability and permanence of death. They may have difficulty in coming to terms with their own mortality and that of those close to them; possibly by refusing to contemplate the possibility of death by taking part in risky behaviour. A young person may challenge the beliefs and expectations of others about how they should be feeling or behaving; death also increases anxieties about the future and they may question the meaning of life.
Young people will grieve in different ways and their responses to a bereavement will depend on their age, understanding and relationship with the person who died.
Child Bereavement UK has lots of information on how to offer guidance, explanations and support to a student in secondary school from their website, here. They help children, young people, parents, and families to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies.
Winstons Wish - support grieving children and young people after the death of someone important, via their website, here. Their Freephone Helpline is free to call on 08088 020 021 and offers advice, guidance and support following a bereavement.
NHS - information and support for Children and Bereavement, here.
Guides attached below -
Teenage guide to coping when someone dies
When Someone Special Dies For Young People
Suggested books to read:
What on Earth to do when someone dies? Link to buy this book here: Amazon
Sometimes Life Sucks: When Someone You Love Dies - Link to buy this book here: Amazon
You Will Be Okay - Link to buy this book here: Amazon
I miss my Sister - Link to this book here: https://www.childbereavementuk.org/
There are so many more books to buy/read listed here: https://www.childbereavementuk.org/