Bereavement during a child’s early years interrupts the attachment they have built with important people in their lives. In the absence of strong memories of their own, it can be hard for young people to remember the person who has died and to feel connected to them.
From birth to five years old, children undergo the biggest changes in development they will ever experience, which is why they rely on the safety and comfort of their parents to guide and support them. Therefore, the death and sudden absence of a parent has a huge impact on a child during these important developmental years.
The book Never Too Young to Grieve is designed for parents, carers and childcare and bereavement professionals supporting children up to the age of five who have experienced the death of a parent or carer. Written and published by the childhood bereavement charity Winston’s Wish, it offers practical advice and guidance, as well as a range of lesson plans and activities to help professionals support bereaved children to come to terms with their loss. Despite experiencing such a devastating experience in their formative years, with understanding and guidance these children can build up their resilience and go on to lead full and flourishing lives.
The release of Never Too Young to Grieve has far been welcomed by many bereaved families and professionals who until now have been concerned by a lack of information and support for children who have experienced a death.
David, a dad to children aged one and three, said:
“Understanding how my children may grieve will help me to be better prepared for all of those questions they are going to throw at me as they get older.”
Sacha Richardson, Director of Family Services at Winston’s Wish, commented:
“Children under five are often the forgotten mourners, but at Winston’s Wish we know first-hand the impact a death can have on them. We wanted to create a resource that would not only help families and professionals better support children under five but also to help them understand the emotions they may be experiencing as they grieve.”
Every day, more than 100 children are bereaved of a parent in the UK. Winston’s Wish reaches thousands of bereaved children and young people through their services. They were the first charity to establish child bereavement support services in the UK, which now include a range of support in individual and group settings, online help, award-winning publications with topics ranging from bereavement by suicide to teenagers who have been bereaved, and the Freephone National Helpline 08088 020 021.
For more information and to purchase Never Too Young To Grieve visit Winston’s Wish