J B Hall Funeral Directors Wokingham

Explaining what happens and how to help

Even though children may not understand the meaning of death until they are
three or four years old, they feel the loss of close relatives in much the
same way as adults. It is clear that, even from infancy, children grieve and
feel great distress.

However, they have a different experience of time from adults and may go through
the stages of mourning quite rapidly. In their early school years children may
feel responsible for the death of a close relative and so may need to be reassured.
Young people may not speak of their grief for fear of adding extra burdens to the
grown-ups around them; including them in communal grieving, such as the making of
funeral arrangements, can help.

We suggest that you tell children as quickly as possible when there is a death in
the family. The news should be broken by the person closest to them in as simple a
manner as possible. Try not to use too many euphemisms. Children should be encouraged
to talk about the deceased, and any questions answered briefly but truthfully.