J B Hall Funeral Directors Wokingham

Children and adolescents

How children grieve

Children pick up a great deal from the attitudes and behaviour of the people
around them.
If they are excluded in bereavement on the grounds that it is too distressing,
they will still pick up on the distress of adults. Puzzled by what is going on
and feeling that it must be something awful if they are not allowed to be part
of it, they form an attitude towards death they may take with them right into
adulthood. Unfortunately, this attitude may mean that they will be poorly prepared
for grief in their adult lives.

But how do you begin to explain to a child what death is? How can you help a child
to grieve? These are hard issues to address, especially if the person closest to
the bereaved child is suffering the same loss and is not therefore in the best of
conditions to handle the feelings of anyone else.

Ideally, the way forward is to acknowledge the shared loss and grieve together.