Changes in Relationships After Loss


Family relationships

All of your relationships are going to be affected by the death of your mum or dad or sister or brother, but especially the relationships with and between your family members.

You’re all grieving, and that can put a strain on all your interactions with each other. Everyone grieves in different ways and this can cause conflict.

It’s really important to respect each other and allow others to do whatever helps them to deal with their grief. If you’re worried that someone isn’t coping, reach out someone like a family friend or a CanTeen counsellor.

If family members are questioning the way you’re handling it, try not to get angry or defensive. Let them know, somehow, that the

death of your mum or dad or sister or brother is having a huge impact on you.

It might seem that other family members (or even friends) are trying to replace the connection you had with the person you lost. This may make you angry – no one can replace them.

But remember that they may just be trying to make sure that you have support when you need it. Just let them know when you think they have over-stepped the mark.

New partners, new families

If your Mum or Dad has died, at some stage in the future you may have to deal with your other parent thinking about, or in fact doing something about, finding a new partner.

This may cause all sorts of conflicting emotions and challenges. While you may understand, in your head, their right to do this, in your heart it might be a whole different story.

You can read more about issues with new partners and blended families, and tips for negotiating all the changes, in CanTeen’s free book Now what? Living with the death of your parent or brother or sister which you can download or order here. Or join the CanTeen Community and read other young people’s stories about their experiences.


For a full list of CanTeen resources click here