Chapter 4: Supporting children



Introduction

I’ve been there
Cath talks about saying goodbye. (3:22)Video transcript
Cath remembers calling her daughter to share the news. (3:22)Video transcript

I knew Grandma was in the hospital, but I didn’t realize that she was so sick. I was very sad when my dad told me that she had died.

If you have children who knew or were close to their great-grandparent, or if this is their first experience with death, you may be wondering what to say or how to say it. Children generally take their cues from adults about “how to grieve,” so the way that you express or share your own grief, as well as how you talk about death, dying, and grief, can have a strong influence on how your children will deal with these experiences now and in the future. By talking openly and honestly with them, you can let them know that it is okay to talk about the person who died and tell stories about them, whether happy, sad, or difficult. 

Each child will have their own way of experiencing and expressing their grief. Their age, their personality, and their relationship with the person who died will all influence their experience.

Helpful resources