If your child is about to lose someone
If a child has a loved one, such as a friend or family member who's going to die, they can benefit from special support.
A child's stress level is often at its highest before bereavement because of fear and the unknown.
Pre-bereavement counselling gives a child a chance to think and talk about their feelings and share their worries.
The YoungMinds website has more information on counselling services for children and young people.
Making a memory box
If you're a parent and you know you're going to die, you could make a memory box to give to your child or make one together.
A memory box contains things that remind you both of your time together. It can provide an important link between you and your child once you've gone.
Macmillan Cancer Support has information about making a memory box.
If a child has lost someone
Talk about the person who has died
During bereavement, it can help a child to talk about the person who's died, whether it was a grandparent, parent, brother, sister or friend.
Direct, honest and open communication is more helpful than trying to protect your child by hiding the truth. If you exclude them from family ceremonies and services after someone has died it could make them feel excluded.
This can also help your child be open about their own feelings and avoid confusion about what has happened. It may be helpful to talk as a family, perhaps with your child, about how to include them in any events that celebrate or say goodbye to the person who has died.
It's important for them to have someone with whom they can talk about that person and share their emotions. This could be through photos, games, memory boxes or stories.
Over time, children may start to talk more about their loss at different times and in different ways. Young children may start talking about death or including it in their play, but this is normal and is a way for them to make sense of what has happened.
Cruse Bedfordshire offers people in Bedfordshire bereavement support from a team of trained volunteers, either in your home or at one of our drop-in centres in Luton, Biggleswade and Bedford.
The service is free, confidential and open to anyone over the age of 16.
We offer support regardless of the time that has lapsed since the bereavement and our service is offered to everyone whatever their culture, race, religious persuasion or sexual orientation.
Our policy is to treat each bereaved person as an individual with their own needs and to offer the support that is appropriate to them at this particular time in their life.
Our bereavement volunteers have all undertaken a comprehensive training course in bereavement care and attend additional training throughout the year.
Above all they are friendly, caring and professional and can help anyone who has been bereaved understand their grief and cope with the loss.
Our bereavement support volunteers talk to bereaved people in their own homes. We don’t try to tell clients how they should feel or what they should do. Instead, we offer emotional and psychological support and help them to understand what is happening to them.
Support is given for as long as it is required; this could be just one session or many more and is tailored to meet the client’s needs.
Call our national helpline free on 0808 808 1677
- Monday: 9.30am-5pm
- Tuesday: 9.30am-8pm
- Wednesday: 9.30am-8pm
- Thursday: 9.30am-8pm
- Friday: 9.30am-5pm
- Saturday and Sunday: 10am -2pm
CHUMS Bereavement Service
We offer support in a variety of ways to children, young people and their families across Luton and Bedfordshire.
Telephone 01525 863924
National bereavement helplines
Child Bereavement UK – call 0800 028 8840 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cruse Bereavement Care – call 0808 808 1677 Monday and Friday, 9.30am to 5pm, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.30am to 8pm, or email email@example.com
Grief Encounter – call 0808 802 0111 Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope Again – call 0808 808 1677 Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm, or email email@example.com
Winston's Wish – call 0808 802 0021 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or email firstname.lastname@example.org