We are all extremely saddened by the death of our late Queen, Her Majesty Elizabeth II.
If you have children at home then they too will have seen the news and heard people talking about it. Young children can struggle to understand death and with the lead-up now to the funeral on Monday 19th September, there will inevitably be more questions about the ceremony, death and what it means.
If you are a bereaved family, then this period of mourning might also stir up past feelings and could be tough. We, and other bereavement organisations, are here to help you and your children so please read on.
How to speak with your child
If you are struggling to speak with your child about the Queen’s death or death in general, the important thing to remember is to use age-appropriate and clear language. Children are very literal so please do use words like ‘dead’ or ‘death’ rather than ‘lost’ or ‘gone to sleep’. Young children may also start to worry that if the Queen has died, so may other people around them – so do reassure them the best you can.
We have lots of free resources for you to download that may help with some of the questions – read more here. Our friends at Winston’s Wish have also written a blog with some useful guidance, including:
“Let them ask questions and answer them honestly
Your child may have a lot of questions about the Queen’s death or death in general. They may ask them all at once or they may come back to you several hours or days later. Try to answer them as honestly as you can and if you don’t know the answer, it’s okay to tell them you will go away and try to find out. By letting them know they can ask questions and you will answer them, you are letting them know they can trust you to tell them the truth.
Let them know their feelings are normal
Let your child know that their feelings – anger, sadness, guilt, worry, confusion and more – are all normal reactions to hearing that someone has died. They may not be upset because they didn’t really have a connection to the Queen, and that’s fine. However, if they are upset, it’s important not to say ‘you didn’t know them so you can’t be sad’ as their connection is real to them.”
Child Bereavement UK also have a useful short video here about how to grieve: take a look.