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Bereaved Children

No child is too young to notice when an important person in his or her life is no longer there. Frequently adults, knowing how painful bereavement can be or having difficulty in accepting the death themselves, attempt to shield children from the pain by telling them little or nothing about what has happened. However, children always sense when something is wrong from the behaviour of those who are caring for them and from the changes which inevitably occur as the result of the death.
On their own, many children are not able to understand the reality of the death and the feelings which they are experiencing. They may be confused and may even feel rejected or abandoned at a time when they most need comforting, understanding and security. Adults struggling to cope with their own reactions to a death, may feel inadequate or totally helpless in dealing with grieving children.
Children frequently show their grief in ways which adults do not expect. They may possibly express themselves physically rather than verbally. They tend to grieve in spurts and may go through periods of time seeming to be unaffected by events.
We hope that the following information will be helpful to bereaved parents or other people who are in a position to reach out to a grieving child.

How do children show grief?

Children and young people of any age may respond with any of the following reactions:

Funeral Services Exeter GUILT: May be the result of needing to find a reason for the death. Some children feel responsible for a death or feel guilty for being alive themselves. Sometimes, the unwitting behaviour of other family members causes children to feel guilty.
Funeral Director Exeter ANGER: May be directed at peers who have not suffered a loss, at the dead person for dying, or at the surviving parents/brothers/sisters or other close relatives.
Exeter Funeral director PANIC: Children may fear losing more people who are close to them or might even fear that they themselves may die. They invariably feel insecure and worry about who will take care of them.
Exeter Funeral Services DENIAL: A way of coping with something which is not understood or accepted. They may fantasise about the dead person, talk about him or her in the present tense or continue to ask the person despite being told that he or she is never coming back.
Exeter Funeral Planning IDEALISATION: Children may often idealise the dead person and even begin to imitate his or her mannerisms.
Funeral Planning Exeter PHYSICAL COMPLAINTS: children may lose their appetite, have nightmares, seem to be tired for much of the time, complain of upset tummies or of having headaches. Some children may even complain of having the same symptoms as those which were shown by the dead person during the final phase of his/her illness.
Funerals East Devon Charter for bereaved children PDF
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Funeral Director Exeter

Paul Shoobridge

Low Cost Funeral Services Exeter

183a, Pinhoe Road

Polsloe Bridge, 

Exeter. 01392 409 000
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