As adults we naturally want to protect children and young people from the pain that is felt after death – for we know only too well how unbearable that pain can be at times.
We might believe that we are protecting children by not telling them about the events that led up to or followed the death of the person. However, not letting children to go to the funeral or to be involved in the arrangements in any way, may cause much uncertainty and anxiety for them, which in turn may lead them to imagine all sorts about what happens to someone when they die.
Don't think that children and young people can't take the truth - they will listen to as much or as little as they can bear. Talk to them about how and why the person died and answer their questions in a way you feel is appropriate to their age. They may need the information repeated many times in order for them to understand and feel safe and sometimes they may need you to give them more information than you might otherwise be comfortable doing.
If you would like more guidance and support on how to help bereaved children, please call our Children and Young People Service known as The Swing on 01922 645035 and speak to our trained and qualified counsellors.
For further information visit Children & young people's counselling services or download our booklet Childrens Bereavement below.