- When a child or baby dies
- Symptoms of bereavement, grief and loss
- Why is my partner grieving differently?
- Helping a child cope with bereavement
- Explaining to a child that someone has died
- Steps to take when talking to a child about death
- Bereavement support services available for parents, children and family members
Please click here to access the Cruse Bereavement Support website to learn more about the grieving process, which may help you to understand what you are going through and make sense of how you are feeling.
There is lots of different support available to help you cope with the symptoms of bereavement, grief and loss should you feel you need this. Please note whilst waiting to access support, if your feelings become overwhelming you can contact your GP for advice or call the Samaritans on 116 123 (freephone). The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day 365 days of the year, and they will listen to you and help you talk through your concerns, worries and troubles.
Why is my partner grieving differently?
By Child Bereavement UK
The way two people in a relationship deal with grief can sometimes differ and this can put additional strain on a relationship when a couple face bereavement together. By understanding these differences, you can begin to achieve balance with your partner and within yourself. Watch this short video by Child Bereavement UK, which explains how and why your partner might grieve differently to you and how you can work together to support one another.
Helping a child cope with bereavement
Speaking to a child about death is a very daunting thing for any parent or carer to have to do.
However, it is very important to tell a child of any age when someone important in their lives has died, and ideally, this should be done by someone who is closest to them.
Explaining to a child that someone has died
By Child Bereavement UK
Watch this short video produced by Child Bereavement UK which provides parents/carers with tips for supporting a child when someone has died. An explanation that helps young children to understand what death means is:
"When someone dies, their body stops working, and this means that they don't need anything to eat or to drink and they can't feel anything. Because their body has stopped working, they can't come back to life, even though we may want them to"
Steps to take when talking to a child about death
Child Bereavement UK advise the following based on what families said was helpful for them
- Tell a child as soon as possible, in a place where they can be supported and away from distractions.
- Use clear language that they can understand, for example, I have something very sad to tell you. Grandad has been very ill for sometime and now he has died.
- Clear words such as "he has died" are easier for children to understand than "lost" "passed away" or "gone to the stars".
- Allow time together for comfort, support and any questions they may ask.
- Answer questions honestly, but keep explanations short, clear and appropriate for their age and understanding. It is okay to say you don't know the answer to a question, but that you will come back to them if you find an answer.
- You may need to repeat the information, especially with a young child.
- It is okay to show your emotions and to explain that you are sad because the person has died, and that it is okay to be sad sometimes and happy sometimes when someone dies.
- Tell them about plans for the days ahead, including who will take them to school or activities. If you need to leave them tell them when you will be home, or who will be looking after them. This will help them to feel secure.
- Children under the age of six do not usually understand that death is permanent so may expect the person to come back. It is still important to tell them that the person has died.