How to help a child
who is grieving
Communication is so important, but where do you start?
When someone close has died it is very important to be able to talk to children who are affected. Death affects most children at some point, as they are confronted with the loss of a close family member or friend. Knowing how to talk about their loss and where to start can be very difficult. This is especially challenging if you are grieving the loss of a loved one yourself.
There are many support organisations available that can help children and families talk through their grief and find ways to cope during the most difficult times. Meeting other like-minded people, who are facing similar difficulties can also help to make a child feel less isolated or lost.
A very helpful booklet was written by Dr Laura Clipsham, palliative care consultant at University Hospital Leicester for LOROS hospice. It details how you can discuss a life-limiting illness and death of a loved one, with a child. For more information and for the booklet 'Supporting children when someone in the family has a serious Illness', visit the LOROS website:
Below you will find further useful contacts to help children through bereavement.
information on grief after bereavement or loss
The free national listening support service line is for people who have been bereaved due to terminal illness. Callers can be matched with a trained volunteer to have regular bereavement support sessions over the telephone.
0800 090 2309 or email email@example.com
Child Bereavement UK
Support, information and guidance for children and young people (up to the age of 25), parents and families to help rebuild their lives when a child grieves or a child dies.
0800 028 8840
There to support anyone affected by the death of a child of any age, in any circumstances. Trained volunteers who have had experience of child bereavement. The Child Death Helpline lessens the sense of isolation and encourages you to openly express your thoughts. You can contact the helpline whenever you need to talk.
0800 282 986 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Childhood Bereavement Network UK
Support for professionals working with bereaved children and young people. There is a searchable directory of local childhood bereavement services and other helpful information.
Helps children rebuild their lives after the death of a parent or sibling.
08088 020 021 or email email@example.com
The Bodie Hodges Foundation
Supporting families who have been bereaved of a child of any age. Provides support in your own home and a safe place that families can retreat to and spend time together after the death of their child, Bodie’s Boathouse (Tallington).
The Good Grief Project
Supports families grieving after the untimely death of a loved one, particularly the death of a child, by encouraging a creative response to grief and by looking for new ways of expressing the pain of loss with various art forms and media.
Offers online, text and skype support to young people (11-25) when someone close to them has a life threatening illness or has died.
01989 566 317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Essential support for under 25s
0808 808 4994
Online advice and support service for young people (12-16) who have lost a parent through cancer.