Talking to Children and Young People

It can be hard to talk to children and young people when someone close to them dies. We’ve provided a guide here to try and help you.

Talk to your children honestly and explain what is happening in a way they understand, all the while giving them information and reassurance.

Use the correct terminology for example to say dying and died rather than ‘gone to sleep’, ‘passed away’ or ‘lost’ as this stops any misunderstanding or confusion and the possibility of difficulties in getting a child to go to bed etc.

Talk to your children about the funeral. Including them and give them choices to attend should they wish to and give them a chance to say goodbye. Freely talk about the person who has died and encourage the children to talk about their memories.

Different age children will grieve according to their developmental stage and understanding. Often children’s grief may be shown in their behaviour, distraught one minute then playing happily the next; this is all normal.

Inform the school about your children’s loss and ask your child what they would like to happen when they return to school.

It’s helpful to maintain the normal boundaries in the home regarding your children as this contributes to the child feeling safe. They know what they are allowed and not allowed to do but if you relax the rules it can cause concern on the part of a child.

In a typical year...
£9
our cost, per minute
11,000
phone calls to patients at home
600
fabulous volunteers
700
patients cared for at home
3,200
home visits
300
patients at the hospice
18,000
of cups of tea
290
counselling sessions
We can only provide the care we do thanks to the incredible generosity of our community, through their continued volunteering, fundraising and donations throughout the year. Your donation will enable us to continue providing care and support to those facing a life-limiting diagnosis, and to support their loved ones.