What Families Can Do
Family members may grieve in different ways which may make it hard to talk and share. Everyone can worry about upsetting the others. It is OK to cry: Although everyone may want to protect each other by not showing feelings openly, it can be helpful for children to see others crying. This can give a message that it is ok for them to cry too.
Offer reassurance: Children may need reassurance that what they are feeling is usual as they may worry that they are not 'normal' or 'going mad'. They may also need reassurance that at the moment other important people in their lives are not ill and hopefully wont die for a very long time yet.
Express anger safely: If children are feeling angry it would be useful to think about safe ways of releasing anger for example through physical activity such as football or using a punch bag or pillow.
Keep up routines: When someone special has died it may leave children feeling insecure. Keeping up usual routines as much as possible can enable children to feel safer.
Find ways to remember: Remembering the special person can be really important to children so as a family you could collect together memories, perhaps make a memory book or box.
Keep in touch with school: School may be able to offer a key person for a child to talk to if they would like to. School can also let you know if they notice any changes in behaviour or if there is anything coming up that may provoke feelings of grief for example doing a project about families or death rituals.
Upcoming EventsFull events list
Children we help
Beth aged 14 years came to a group programme after her dad had died suddenly and unexpectedly. She was having difficulty concentrating at school and felt that it was hard for others to understand how she was feeling. Her relationship with her dad hadn't always been easy and she was struggling with her guilt. At the group she met other young people who had experienced the death of someone significant to them. They shared their coping strategies with Beth. She began to realise that others had a similar mix of feelings as well as good and not so good memories. She felt less alone in her grief and found a new supportive network of friends.