A bereavement is hard to take at anytime in your life. It can be even tougher if a child or young person is affected by grief. If you’re not sure how to start talking about death with your children, here’s our quick guide to help you…
Prince Harry is in the news today (Monday 25th July 2016), saying that he regrets not speaking about his mother’s passing. Princess Diana died when Harry was 12-years-old and dealing with a bereavement at that age can be very difficult. He has said that he only opened up a few years ago about how it affected him. The prince was speaking at a Heads Together BBQ with famous sports stars, who have been affected by mental health issues.
Tips for talking to your child about bereavement
Losing someone or something you love or care about can be a huge shock. It can also be very painful to cope with. It is normal to experience all kinds of difficult emotions and everyone reacts differently. There is no right or wrong way to react – everyone has their own way. This is true for everyone, especially children.
Be prepared to talk about and listen to them on the issue. Don’t force them if they don’t want to talk. Try to always be available and direct them to the links, information and helplines below. Remember to take care of yourself too.
Useful links and helplines
TheSprout is the online magazine for young people in Cardiff and has a dedicated info section called Bereavement, Grief & Death. It is written for young people and directs readers to services such as Hope Again.
Hope Again is Cruse Bereavement Care‘s website for young people. Cruse is a UK-wide charity that works with children, young people and adults who have been affected by the loss of someone close to them. Hope Again has personal stories from young people affected by bereavement, as well as advice for them on topics such as talking about it, self-harm, and remembering loved ones.
Cruse also run a free helpline if you or your child wants to talk to someone directly – 0808 808 1677. It’s open Monday-Friday, 9:30am – 5:00pm
Meic is the information, advice and advocacy helpline for 0-25s in Wales and they can be contacted by phone, text and instant message too about any topic. This includes bereavement and is a great place to start for your child because they can support them on a wide range of subjects.
Meic is free to use and is open everyday from 8am to midnight:
- Phone: 080880 23456
- Text: 84001
- IM: via www.meiccymru.org
YoungMinds have a dedicated section for parents concerned about how bereavement is affecting their child. They have a free helpline too on 0808 802 5544. It is open from 9.30am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Heads Above The Waves mainly write about self-harm, but they also published this excellent and moving article of dealing with loss. You may recognise the name Heads Above The Waves, because they recently wrote a series of guest blogs for FamilyPoint Cymru on self-harm.
Want to find out about services available to you and your child in your area? Would you like to chat about family matters in general? Then get in touch with the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline.
- Phone: 0300 222 57 57
- Text: 07860 052 905
- Instant message (see top of page)
We are open 6pm – 10pm Monday to Thursday and 10am – 2pm Friday & Saturday.