Following the recent television programme on Princess Diana, one of our Bright Horizons colleagues has shared what it is like to lose a parent as a child.
“I was 6 years old when my Dad died and as much as I think I could help someone if it was going to happen to them nothing can prepare you for the sorrow you feel when you lose a parent. I can only begin to imagine how difficult it has been for the Princes dealing with their loss in such a public way.
There are many like me who have had to deal with losing someone at a young age. But there are some things that people in my situation can’t help but think about. Am I anything like him? My mum tells me when I behave like my Dad. If I turn up a song when the drum rift is on she’ll tell me that was what he would have done. It must be endearing for her to see so many of his traits and qualities coming through in me.
I think it’s important that we still talk about my Dad regularly and she will often share stories with me. I have pictures of him throughout my home and speak about him frequently to other people. Just because has not been here for 27 years does not mean he isn’t still a part of my life.”
Below are some suggestions for how to support a child when they are faced with the death of a loved one:
- Keep the memory alive, speak about the person frequently and don’t let them forget them
- Children ask questions, it may be hard for you to hear sometimes, but try to be as honest as you can when answering them. Tell them the truth (in the kindest way possible)
- Make sure they have a safe, calm and caring environment to speak openly
- Keep normality as much as possible at home and in nursery
- Take time to look after yourself as well
Here at Bright Horizons communication is at the heart of what we do. We understand that the families we serve count on us. If your child is coming to terms with the loss of a loved one please do let us know so that we can work with you in providing that much need support to you and your child. We’re here to help you.