When someone in the family is very ill, dying or has died, everyone copes differently and even adults often find it difficult to express how they feel. Sometimes, as well as sadness, there may be other emotions such as anger or guilt. There are a number of charities who specifically offer support and guidance for children and young people who have experienced a death in the family- many of these also have helplines as well as stories from other families.
Winstons’ Wish Supporting children and young people after a death or when someone in the family is dying. Very good at explaining some of the misunderstandings that can arise for children when adults talk about death. You can also e-mail for support and advice. Leaflets are available to download in English, Swedish, Polish, Arabic, Bengali and Spanish. https://www.winstonswish.org
CruseA national bereavement charity with a website section for children including some tips on coping written by children themselves.https://www.cruse.org.uk
Grief EncounterA charity supporting children and young people through bereavement. They also have a helpline called Grieftalk which is open Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm, plus the possibility of chatting on-line, posting memories or receiving support by text. Find out more here.
Child Bereavement UK A charity with resources for young people and parents including some stories, advice on explaining funerals and leaflets produced by families for children of different ages (under 7yrs, 7-11yrs and young people) For 11-25 year olds they have also produced an App about bereavement and grief which has links for local support and some short films. https://childbereavementuk.org
Talking to your child about death or illness
How to tell your young child someone has died: for practical tips on choosing your wording and approach click here
The Tenth Good Thing about Barney by Judith Viorst. A lovely gentle story about losing a favourite cat. Available Here.
Goodbye Mog by Judith Kerr.
Mog the cat finally gets very tired and old and just wants to sleep forever. Available Here.
Nana upstairs and Nana downstairsby Tomie dePaola.
A beautifully illustrated book. Available Here.
Her Mother’s Face by Roddy Doyle. A tender story of a ten year old girl coming to terms with her mother’s death.Available Here.
Winston’s Wish This children’s charity have produced some excellent books about grief, serious illness and death (including death by suicide) for children e.g. “A Child's Grief: Supporting a Child When Someone in Their Family has Died” by Di Stubbs or “Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine “ for 5+ years. These books can be purchased on Amazon and proceeds go to the charity or directly on the charity website https://www.winstonswish.org