When you lose a loved one, explaining the death to your children and helping them cope with their grief can be challenging. Children may react differently to hearing this sad news, and their reactions may vary depending on their age or relationship to the person or pet who has died. In this blog post, we will discuss some things you can do to help your child during this time.
Tell Them the Facts
When explaining death to children, it’s best to tell them as you would any other family member simply. After saying that someone has died, you can allow them to process the news and see if they need any clarification about what this means. Allow them to ask questions, and try to answer them calmly and concisely.
Children Know More Than You Think
Although it can be tempting to ‘dumb down’ the news or soften the blow for the children, they will understand more than you may expect. Of course, they may have less experience dealing with grief, but children are highly intuitive and can sense when adults keep vital information from them. Therefore, we recommend being honest when they ask questions and allowing them to understand the situation so they can grieve as appropriate.
Talk About What Grief Feels Like
Your child will likely have less experience with grief and how it feels. Therefore, explaining the symptoms, they may feel after hearing of the loss of someone they know is important. Understanding that grief is expected can help them to process it and not panic when confronted with these new feelings.
Check-In and Explain What Will Happen Next
After telling them about the loss, check in with them frequently as they process their grief. Allow them to ask further questions or seek support if they need to talk more or have a hug. Checking in on the children will also teach them that they can come to you when they need help and that you will willingly be there to support them.
You can use these check-ins to update them on future memorial or funeral plans. You may also wish to offer your kids professional bereavement support if you struggle to help them through your own grief.
Remind Them of the Good Memories
We believe that children should be given all the information they need to process their grief. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t share good memories with your children about the
person or pet you lost. Opening positive dialogues about their loss can be especially important for younger children who won’t be attending the funeral and may want to share the experience of remembering their lost loved one.
Give them Something To Remember Their Loved One By
You may even like to help them choose a memento, such as a Locket from our Photo Jewellery Collection, to give them something to remind them of their lost loved one. If you have lost a family pet, you may also like to organise a piece of Paw Print Jewellery to help them through their grief. Wearing these pieces can also help them tell their friends about their loss and explain their grief when others ask about the Memorial Jewellery