Helping Children and Teens Cope with Grief

Supporting children and teens through their grief journey requires special attention and care. Providing age-appropriate explanations of aortic dissection and the loss of a loved one can help them better understand and process their emotions. Encourage open communication and offer emotional support, while also considering professional help and resources for grieving children and teens when needed. Creating a safe and nurturing environment is essential for their emotional wellbeing.

Telling a Child That a Loved One Has Died

It is crucial to inform a child of any age when someone significant in their lives has passed away, ideally by someone close to them. To ensure the best possible support, tell the child as soon as possible in a quiet, comfortable setting, using clear language they can understand. For instance, say, “I have something very sad to tell you. Grandad had a brief illness and now he has died.” It’s important to use direct words, such as “died,” instead of euphemisms that might be confusing.

After sharing the news, allow time for comfort, support, and any questions the child might have. Answer questions honestly and concisely, tailoring your explanations to their age and understanding. You may need to repeat the information, especially for young children. It’s acceptable to show emotions and to express that sadness is a natural response. Provide information about plans for the coming days, including routines and caretakers, to help the child feel secure. Remember that children under six may not grasp the permanence of death, but it’s still essential to tell them about the loss.

Remembering a Loved One

This brief animated film offers suggestions for children and young people to remember and honour someone important to them who has passed away. When children and young people miss their special person, they may feel sad or even worry about forgetting them. Engaging in activities such as looking at photographs, talking about the deceased, or visiting a place they loved can help keep their memory alive and provide comfort during difficult times.

Grief Encounter: Supporting Grieving Children and Young People

With 1 in every UK classroom experiencing the death of someone close by the time they reach 16 years old, Grief Encounter provides a lifeline to children and young people dealing with confusion, fear, loneliness, and pain. Offering free, immediate, one-to-one support, Grief Encounter helps young individuals cope during these difficult times.

Navigating Grief: Children’s Bereavement Centre

The Children’s Bereavement Centre offers a safe, welcoming space for children aged 3 to 18 who are coping with the loss of a loved one. The dedicated team of compassionate professionals provides guidance and support during this overwhelming time. Referrals to the Centre’s services are easy, and assistance is completely free of charge.