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Prince Harry says he dejections not speaking for years about the impact on him of his mother’s fatality in 1997, when he was aged simply 12.

So how better can adults help and talk to children about bereavement? Some share their approaching with BBC News.


Tracey Unstead, Kingsteignton, Devon

“I lost my husband, Bob, in Sept 2015. He had a terminal( lung) cancer – mesothelioma.

Our now 10 -year-old son plainly adored his daddy, ‘me, and mini-me’, as they were affectionately known.

As their own families we have encouraged Charlie to talk about all aspects of what happened. Exploiting laughter, photos, music, listening, carrying on with his play, general chit-chat about his daddy and most importantly being totally honest, even when the questions being asked are difficult to answer( as passions are increased ).

Primarily for me it’s about being completely honest, about everything. About how everything has changed. You’ve started from having two mothers to one mother. I have to be mum and daddy, steer and reinforcement. All singing, all dancing.

We have had to change; emotionally, financially, pedigree dynamics and priorities. We have no choice. The alternative is how you deal with it.

Be a realist

It’s about listening because there are frustrations there for him that we’re unable to do something about, or that I’m going to be finishing work late…

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Image caption Parents of many bereaved children say ‘give them space to talk’

It’s about communication, explaining that none of us missed this. That if a parent is taken away by a auto gate-crash or some sort of canker , no-one ever misses that to happen and “weve got to” draw the best of everything.

But you’ve got to be realistic and we were honest from day one.

We illustrated what cancer was, how it attests in the body. What happened when his daddy croaked. What a coroner was. Without being terrifying, to use those words.

He gave me a thank you placard the day his papa succumbed, saying ‘thank you for helping me understand’.

Funerals as a celebration

Funerals are very dark but we constructed his dad’s as if it was a birthday party – with his favourite biscuits, his favourite music. So that, when Charlie grows up, he will imagine ‘this was the day my dad was buried, and actually, it was a sad period, but we had a party’.

I cry in front of him and I’m sad and we say we miss daddy. I acknowledge it. But he’s a child. They’re sometimes more resilient.

He’s 10. He needs to laugh, have fun, get into misbehaviour.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Harry,( right) with his mother and Prince William, didn’t speak about the implications of the her death until three years ago

Charlie has two grown-up sisters, so we have been able to do this as their own families. His school has played a huge segment, which I accept has helped Charlie terribly. A school that is empathetic and understanding to such difficult personal occasions in a child’s life, for me, was a godsend.

Harry’s silence

I was scared to hear from Prince Harry that he didn’t was talking about the implications of the his mum’s death until 3 years ago. I can’t imagine how that must have experience.

That goes on with all the children who has lost a mother. There will be children today who will be sat down and to indicate that awful news, and “peoples lives” will change forever.

If Charlie can grow up to be as entertaining and hard-working as his dad was, with the lore we rallied round him and subscribed him, that’s a good job done.

He’s a impressive young man, his father would be extremely proud of him, as we are.


John, from Surrey

“Our children were 11 and 13 when their baby died in 1985 – a meter when bereavement supporter was insufficient.

I was offered nothing and didn’t even are well aware that any was there. There wasn’t the internet then. Now, there are so many more neighbourhoods to find help.

My one and only assignment in life became bringing up our children. So, I pondered I had to look forward and not back.

The result was that I erased many joyous storages of my wife in order not to become mushy, self-pitying and useless to my children.

This didn’t become me a better father – in fact perhaps a worse one – as we talked very little about their baby and still don’t, more than 30 years on.

Kissed ‘six times a year’

Talking and recollecting superb reminiscences are not frailties, they are fortitudes and, though I did what I did with the best of intentions, it was neither excellent for our children nor for me. I had to work out what to do alone: my mother was already dead, my father was in his 70 s.

He was very old-fashioned, extremely stiff upper lip. He said to me the working day, ‘Your mother came from a kissy, feely house. But I came from their own families where I get caressed six times per year, once on my practice to academy at the opening up of expression and once on my method back home at the end of term’.

Close but silent

My wife’s cancer started off as breast cancer but a secondary cancer set in and that was that.

Once I knew she was dying, I told our children. I will never know the extent to which that sank in.

It affected both of their own children quite differently. The elder one dived into studies and got a good grade. The younger one walked away from examines wholly.

We’re close but we still don’t talking here it.

I would say to any parent whose child is bereaved to talk about it, ask for help, do anything you can but don’t keep quiet.


‘Isabel’, from Grampian

“We lost my daughter’s father to suicide when she was three. She’s 18 now.

She understood what had happened very well because her pa was in infirmary for some time. She was able to go in and receive him, I was able to prepare her for what was happening.

She accompanied his funeral. We addrest whenever she wanted to about him.

She missed him and misses him at so many stages of her life and ever will. There’s lots of different points in childhood – even just for occasions like hearing to go your motorcycle.

She has a more mature sense of see, but it’s still a feeling of loss now as it was then.

When she was 13 she detected as if nobody else had grown up without their papa being alive. I craved her to congregate other children who had gone through same know-hows. Through investigate, I came across a bereavement camp in America. It was a safe region for kids to come together, mourn, remember and have fun.

She left camp emotional but saying ‘no offence mum, but they knew what I was talking about’. Music to my ears and I shall be forever grateful. Camp helped my daughter to feel like she was in the majority of members and not the minority.

I would say( to parents of bereaved children) to maintain fronts of communications open. Expect that they are going to accompanying it up at the most surprising day. They may appear to be not thinking about it. But they are just processing it and trying to get on with their everyday lives.”

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