Talk to children using words they understand and are appropriate for their age. It's best to use honest, clear language if possible. It's probably best to tell children information a bit at a time, giving them the opportunity to come back with more questions. Older children will want and be able to handle more information.
Losing her was indeed the hardest thing I have encountered during my life and anything challenging since I lost her has become, in some respects, more minor since dealing with that, but in others, doubly challenging as I lost the one person in whom I could trust without judgement, bias or prejudice.
The following week I talked with him at length about the startling lack of response he received from some people. It got me thinking; maybe I could write a list of my own personal FAQs/Tips for those who are perhaps recently bereaved and in particular those who just feel helpless looking in. This changed after my brother Johnny completed suicide in 2014.
Bowie made me think differently. He gave me permission to read literature and philosophy and like abstract art. Then later, inspiration to leave my small Northern town and try my luck in the big wide world. Aged thirteen I never anticipated that my schoolgirl hero would have such a huge influence on how I learnt to deal with death and mortality, through a cancer diagnosis and the loss of my father.
Even if it is painful, even if my heart will be tight and heavy, I will wear my sparkling festive clothes, I will smile, and most importantly, I will do all I can to pass on the Christmas magic to my own little bundle of joy, currently growing inside me. And who knows, maybe this little angel will bring me back the magic...
Over the years I have met with thousands of bereaved parents who never cease to shock me with their tales of horror and lack of support following the devastation that is the loss of a baby. In some trusts, stillborn babies are still being delivered in delivery suites to the sounds of babies crying, excited visitors arriving with bunches of flowers and congratulation balloons.
I don't know why you have been on my mind so much lately, it's twelve and a half years since you died. Perhaps it is watching your small, wobbly granddaughter achieving her small significant steps, and hurting that you never met her or knew of her struggles. Perhaps seeing her adoration of her own doting Daddy.