Grief and children
Here funeral plan specialist, Perfect Choice, looks at ways to help children with grief and bereavement...
If you’ve recently lost someone special to you it can be hard enough to carry on with day to day tasks, but helping your children cope with grief whilst trying to control your own emotions can be even harder. Children will often notice that something is wrong and you will find you need to explain what has happened. Here we give some advice on helping children during times of grief.
There are several stages of grief, shock and numbness, overwhelming sadness with crying, tiredness and exhaustion, anger and guilt. Dealing with these emotions can be a strain on your health and it can affect your daily routine. If you have children you will probably feel that you don’t want to involve them in your grief. Though keeping it from them may not be the best approach. It’s likely that your child will notice that something is wrong and may become upset. Be honest with them and explain why you are upset. If the deceased is a family member or someone the child knew it’s a good idea to explain what has happened. You can see some more in depth tips about explaining death to children here.
If you a grieving for someone your child didn’t know, explain that you are sad because a person has died and that they were special to you. Talking to your child about happy memories you have with the deceased person is a good way to help them understand why you seem sad.
Don’t be afraid to show emotion in front of your child, but be aware of hysterics. This can scare or stress children. If you need to excuse yourself make sure the child is in a safe and secure environment or with another trusted adult. Make children aware that you are ok and that you will be fine, explain that you are just sad at the moment.
Give yourself some time to grieve in peace. Arrange childcare or ask family members to help take care of your child or children for a day. This will give you time to recoup some energy and reflect alone. Grief differs for every person so you may find that spending time with your family helps keep your mind occupied and your mood up.
The way you cope with a loss will impact upon your children. They will cope with grief much the same way you do. If you show compassion and strength during this hard time then your child will likely show compassion and strength too.