"It's good to know how I am feeling is normal"

Child Bereavement Services

Supporting children with loss

Children are often too scared to ask questions at home if adults are upset. And the whole family is on an emotional roller-coaster. Partial or inaccurate information can be more worrying than the truth. Very sad truths are ultimately better than uncertainty for children.

How we can support a young person when someone is seriously ill

By speaking with a Bereavement Listener, adults can be supported in helping a child or teenager in an age appropriate manner. The child can be supported in their sadness and learn to understand that hope, fear, anger, sadness and love are all normal feelings when someone they are close to is seriously ill.

Having an adult from outside the family to talk to the children can help to relieve some of the pressure during this difficult time and start to prepare the children for changes ahead.

How we can help young people make sense of their grief

  • A child’s grief can be hard to comprehend as unlike adults they tend to jump in and out of grief. They can appear to be carrying on as normal.
  • According to their age and understanding they can be left with unanswered questions which they may be wary of asking for fear of further upsetting the adults around them.
  • If the family is struggling with their own grief a listener can provide valuable support for the children.
  • Whilst exploring their grief the children and teenagers can be encouraged to ask for what they need to help them at this difficult time and begin to find a balance between remembering the special person that has died and understanding that it is okay to still have fun.
  • By talking and using age appropriate activities a young person can start to make sense of their feelings rather than potentially bottle them up and feel alone.

About our service

  • All our volunteer listeners are trained in pre- and post-bereavement care and receive regular supervision.
  • The service is available to anyone who is registered with a Buckinghamshire GP.
  • The service is free and confidential. We can meet in your own home or one of our NHS buildings.
  • The support is available for you as long as it is required.

What our clients have to say

“It’s good. I don’t need to sneak about anymore to find out information.” Age 9

“Everything was mixed up but now it is a lot less confusing.” Age 10

“I don’t feel angry all the time anymore.” Age 13

“It’s good to know how I am feeling is normal.” Age 16


Contact our Child Bereavement Support Team

David Nash – Bereavement Support Team

Tel no: 01296 332600

Email: fnh.bereavement@buckshealthcare.nhs.uk


Useful resources

For Child Bereavement UK click here 

For Cruse click here 


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