Advice needed - younger sister passed away

I’m looking for some help and advice. 5 months ago my younger sister passed away due to cancer, and I’m still finding that little things are triggering me and causing me to react extremely emotionally. Yesterday, at college, they were hosting a bake sale for McMillan coffee morning. I was doing ok until 2 lads made a flippant comment about cancer and death. They were just larking about, not realising what they said had upset me. I became quite emotional so told my professor that I was leaving the lesson to work elsewhere by myself, so that I could calm down. I don’t blame the boys, a year ago I might have made some stupid comment without even thinking also. Today, when I saw the teacher again she asked me how I was doing, if I was ok. However, she then told me that she can’t really do anything about it as the boys were just messing about. She also then proceeded to tell me that I can’t expect people to tiptoe around me if they are unaware of my situation. That I should really have moved on by now and should have control over my emotions, especially by now. What I’m trying to ask is, is she right? Should I have moved on by now? Am I overreacting?

Hi Ellie im very sorry for your loss .To answer your question the teacher is WRONG .Theres no such thing as a set time limit to get through your nightmare The boys were a bit insentive to say the least .But the teacher takes insentive to a whole new undescribeable level .Are you over reacting NO YOU ARE NOT (ive used capitals to show how disturbing he comments were,And to emphasise your completely correct All the best Colin (

Hi Ellie

I am with Colin on this, you are very very definately not doing anything wrong. Your teacher should have spoken to those boys quietly and just reminded them of the reason for the bake sale and that their comments are inappropriate and immature. That is apart from the fact of how distressing they are for you.

I think to say you should have control of your emotions is ludicrous. Five months is nothing and the teacher should be supporting you not criticising you. I am hoping your course tutor is not the same person as your teacher. Go to them and repeat what you have said here. They have a duty of care for you as one of their students and should deal with it. They should be able to organise any other help you may be needing, colleges often have their own counselling teams if that was something you wanted.

I am going to a MacMillan bake sale on Friday. It is in a church locally and my next door neighbour is making cakes for it. I am looking forward to it, supporting the reasons for it and having cakes as well! It is my birthday that day so an anniversary to get through without my Mum so why not I think.

You take care of yourself and you too Colin.


Hi Ellie. Firstly, I am so very sorry for your loss of your sister. My thoughts are with you. Secondly, I am completely with Colin and Mel on the issue of what has happened. The teacher should be reprimanded for speaking to you in that way and obviously has never suffered a close bereavement. If she had she would realise how terribly painful, distressing and emotional it is. I personally think if this teacher was taking her responsibilities seriously, she could have spoken to the boys calmly and in an adult manner and made them aware that some forms of messing about are inappropriate and immature and can hurt people’s feelings - in this case it was yours. As Mel said, she should have reminded them what the bake sale was all about. I think they should have been made to apologise to you either verbally or written. I feel really angry about it on your behalf. As Colin said, there is no set time limit as to how long you will be bereaved and grieving. It is a very personal journey and everyone is different. Accepting and moving on can take a while. The grieving process cannot be rushed and will take as long as it takes. It is still very new and raw for you and things WILL trigger you off. That is what happens. You will still be having very down days and days when your emotions are all over the place. It is like being on a roller coaster. You should be supported in this not made to feel worse. It is good you posted your feelings and what happened on this forum as you have the support here of all of us who know what you are going through. At least you shared it and didn’t bottle it up so good on you for that. I agree with Mel and think you should go to your course tutor and make him/her aware of what has happened. I am thinking of you and sending you my best wishes, also to Colin and Mel. Take care. Karen XX

That professor is very wrong and very insensitive in my view. You reacted to the boys remarks normally given your circumstances, Ellie. When deeply grieving we can be very sensitive to other’s remarks and comments even if not about death or illnesses. We can bite back or recoil in a haze of hurt and anger. Sometimes biting back at other’s lack of sensitivity even unintentional makes us feel a tad better to hold ones tong takes strength and if you can better in the long run

Maybe this reaction for the tutor on top of the boys comments has made you recoil into your self in a ball of isolation and grief. This can and does happen and to me for one, and we have to try and focus and remember the rest of the world rattles on around us.

Did the boys know your circumstances? if they did a polite as calm as possible telling off would have been my tack and they may stop to think on about their bantering and chat.

You are NOT overreacting. Grieving people do ‘move on’ How I hate that expression a platitude along with the others. We gradually learn to adapt and adapt to our loss/es, Ellie.
My Husband passed two and a half years ago and I am devastated and posted in my Thread in here called Two and half years on.

I hope you pop in to read my message

Take care and be as strong as you can.

Thinking about this thread has brought back a memory of when my Dad passed away. I returned to work three weeks later very shaky but with a fair amount of support from my colleagues. I was coping until a couple of weeks later when a group of us were having tea together and discussing upcoming Father’s Day. One woman turned to me and asked what I was giving my Dad. She couldn’t understand why I was upset!