Factsheet 37: Needs of bereaved children

  • To be able to talk about the person who has died.
  • To have the right not to talk about them if feelings are too raw at the time.
  • To have their privacy respected.
  • To be allowed to have and display photos of the person who has died.
  • To have special mementoes of the person who has died, such as an item of clothing, a piece of jewellery, a lock of hair, or something that was special for that person.
  • To be able to make a memory book/box if that is important to them.
  • To have people talk about that person naturally, thereby tacitly acknowledging that the relationship will continue forever, even though the person has died.
  • To be able to acknowledge and celebrate as appropriate, occasions that were special to that person, or to the family.
  • To have time out from grieving – to spend time with friends.
  • To have things to look forward to. For example, holidays, special outings, treats and developmental milestones.
  • A parent or other caregiver who explains whatever is happening at the time – to be told the truth, simply.
  • To be included in family grieving and other significant events.
  •  To feel valued and important.

Factsheet reproduced from Dianne McKissock’s book The Grief Of Our Children with the express permission from The National Centre for Childhood Grief.