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I hope someone can help. Can anyone recommend anything to help a young family cope with the sad loss of the husband. Everyone in the family is so shocked because it was such a tragic accident so they are not really able to help emotionally as they are greaving as well.

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Can you not contact the local social services or similair to see if they have a group or help set up.

I know my head approached a company about losing a parent, when a child in my class lost his mum before christmas... but I can't remember who it was.

It was hard work when the little boy in my class came back and he has a lot of support from grandparents etc. Its remembering that things like parents evening and reports, trips etc are hard for the parent left as they have to face them on their own.


Hope that you find someone that can offer some better advice.




P.S just did a quick internet search and came up with this website.


Might be worth a look.

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Hi Bubblejack


What a so very sad thing to have to deal with ( i'm assuming it's a little one that is of concern).


I went on a bereavement course many years ago and I remember that the first thing, well two actually are these


Don't use euphanisms to talk about the death, use words like dead and dying etc and that any child who has suffered a bereavement should be regarded as having 'special needs' straight away.


I bought a fantastic book, don't know whether this is still in print, but you could give it a go


''Good Grief

Exploring feelings, Loss and Death with under 11s



Barbara Ward and Associates


pub. Jessica Kingsley Publishers ISBN 185302 1628





it talks about the stages of grief and gives practical suggestions upon how children can cope and how parents can help their children. It also talks about the reactions of younger children; babies, toddlers and the Magical Thinking stage (2-7)


Not quite sure if this is what you wanted


Good Luck I'm sure there will be others here who'll be able to help



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Guest diannej

Hi there Bubblejack, this must be a very difficult time for the family concerned, and of course for yourself if you are a friend of the family.


Although all of the family and also friends will be in complete shock if the death was sudden, they will also provide a remarkable amount of support to each other without realising it.


But a bereaved family also needs people. The best thing that you can do and suggest that others around you also do, is to be there. Human contact is, in my view, the single most important thing a bereaved family needs. Yes I speak personally. A very close friend of mine used to be a Samaritan, and she always said that the most calls she used to get during her shift were from bereaved people, many of whom felt that they had noone to talk to about their loss.


Sometimes we feel that we are inadequate to offer any kind of support, we dont know what to say, we feel uncomfortable, we dont want to say or do the wrong thing, so we choose to say or do nothing. For many of us this is because we simply dont have any expereince of grief ourselves and therfore feel ill equiped. Sometimes we just need to offer to do mundane things like cook a meal, wash up, open the post, even make tea for the numerous visitors that may call. It may seem like nothing, but it will mean more than you can imagine. The there are the more obvious things like organising a funeral, many of us never had to do that before, and some people need support and practical help after the funeral to deal with financial issues, wills and benefits etc.


We also need to talk, and we need to listen. We fear talking about the dead person because we worry that we may upset the family, but those memories are really important, and other people's memories will also matter to the family, especially later on, when they start to rebuild their lives. We need to listen to them talk about their loved one even if you have heard the same story a hundred times before!


It is also important to remember that there isnt a right way or wrong way to grieve but that there are some recognizable stages in the process of grief, usually known as the 4 stages: denial; anger; depresson; acceptance. There are numerous books and leaflets available on these, these web sites are quite useful








I think both have links to books suitable for adults, and young and older children. There are also practical ways to support grieving children.


And grief has no time limit. Sometimes, it is later on when everyone elses life has got back to routine, and the visitors have stopped calling, that the bereaved family need support even more.


Sorry to waffle on, hope that is some help for you to start off with. Im sure others will have much more to add.




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Thanks everyone for your helpful advice. The bereaved parent has stated that she does not want to speak to any professionals about her sad loss at the moment. She is yearning for advice for her young child and has given permission for a trusted friend to do so on her behalf. I feel she may feel able to use the websites because it is anonymous. I shall also try and order the book for her.

Thanks once again everyone.

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I'm a bit late here , bubblejack, sorry.

When my son was 8 his very very best friend and his father were killed in one of those tragic events you pray never happens. We really didn't know how to handle it. Interestingly, neither did the teachers etc we asked for help.

We just clung together as 2 families and a community and somehow got there in the end. I don't suppose that is much help at all, but if anyone wants to follow up, feel free!



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I'm so sorry for this family. How terribly sad.


I worked with a family years ago who lost the mother to an illness. I had one of her two sons, Sam and Eddie, in my nursery at the time. The Reception teacher and her husband were working on a series of books at the time, and worked with the family to produce one about their loss.


It's called 'Remembering Mum'. It is probably a bit dated now, but may be of help. They have others in the series, if you search on amazon for Ginny Perkins you will find them. I never saw the actual books when they were published, but I would think they were very sensitively written. Here's a link:





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I have found the 1st stage of bereavement is shock, alongside initial denial, especially when the death is sudden,which obviously affects people in different ways.


Also people will relate their own experiences and ways they have coped, this is done with good intentions but when I experienced this it made me feel like I should be grieving in a different way to what I was.


What did help me was all the condolence cards, which I saved in a photo album and even now 9 years on I will look at them with my son, every now and then. The last card in the book is an inspirational poem ( not a "thinking of you" type).


I have also learnt that as adults we should not assume what a child (or any other member of the family) is feeling at any given time, and to try to remember that it's ok to feel whatever you feel.


My son I believe gained most support from his peers, he was 12 when his dad died suddenly. His friends kept normality in his day to day life but were also easy to talk to when Ellis wanted to( they knew his dad well). They understood better than me what a dad means to a Son, and therefore what his loss meant to Ellis. The term time does heal, really is true, but is difficult to hear at the time. My son and I have an extra special bond because of a difficult, sad, shared experience.




Many years ago, one of my staff, Dawn, a mother of two boys at pre-school, died suddenly,( in December). I remember we just were there for each other, Dawns family, the other preschool children and the other staff. We bought a christmas tree, because she loved this time of year, and had a small plaque dedicated to her, I believe it is still used each year.


My thoughts are with this family and anyone else who is now remembering past bereavements.



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HI Bubblejack.

So sorry that you need to make a request of this nature. Dianne and Peggy have made some very sensitive replies and I am sure they will be helpful.

It is a long time since I was in the position of needing this sort of help, I had children in my Reception class many years ago who had both lost their mothers and both were in need of a lot of love and support, one family was known to the school and the mother/ family had prepared the children as best she could for her death although this did not make it less traumatic. The other child moved into catchment area after the death.

Another child whose mother was terminally ill, often displayed marked behaviour problems, frequently starting the day under the tables screaming but with lots of TLC was a lovely child.

I think you can access counselling through child health and perhaps the doctor or health visitor is is a good place to start. Perhaps they will already be aware though of the situation?


My heartfelt good wishes for the family concerned and for those involved in this in any way.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Tracey F

I was just about to post about this myself - should have known there would be something her already. This forum really does have EVERYTHING! I have a little boy in my class who's daddy is terminally ill and was looking for something, maybe a story, that he can understand at his own level - some of the links and things here look like they will help me find what I need - this place is just great!

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I know that when we had a little boy who's mum was terminally ill, that the hospice where she was did a very good ideas pack about special memories and explaining about what illness can do etc. It's worth checking.


I hope you find what he needs



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