Brave local Josh shares his child bereavement story..
Child Bereavement UK is showing its support for Children’s Grief Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness for children who are suffering with grief after the death of a loved one.
This year the theme of the campaign is #MakeTime2Listen, as CBUK wants to let bereaved children know that they have somewhere to turn and someone who will listen to them.
The campaign emphasises the differences in the grieving process between adults and children.
In march 2015, Aylesbury local Josh lost his father to pneumonia when he was 9 years old.
He shares his experience here: “I was at school and a teacher came into my ICT class. They took me out of the room and I was confused and wonder what was going on. My sister was there too, but she wasn’t saying much. When I got home, Dad’s brother and wife were there with my cousin and that’s when mum sat me down and told me my Dad had died.”
His mother, Liz, said: “Josh returned to school and seemed to adjust to life without his Dad, but then 3 months later John’s death really started to affect him and he was struggling to cope. Some songs that were played in assembly would upset him and he was also being bullied.”
As well as holding onto a lot of anger, Josh was struggling with feelings of guilt over his dad’s death and had also started to worry his mum might die too.
It was around this time Josh’s referred the family to Buckinghamshire based bereavement charity, Child Bereavement Support Practitioner, Christine on a fortnightly basis.
During their sessions Christine helped Josh to realise he wasn’t to blame for his dad’s death and to a certain extent, he could control his angry reactions towards classmates when they made comments about his dad. They did activities that encouraged Josh to share his feelings, culminating in him writing a poem that he then read of during an assembly at school.
Liz added: “We find it helps a lot. Josh finds it really easy to talk to Christine, the bereavement support practitioner. He always seems to come to come out with something that I didn’t know. She gets things out of him he wouldn’t normally talk about and he really likes her. “
“In a way, the support is for me too. Child Bereavement UK always encourage me to take part in the activities and talk about how I feel. In the Family Support Groups, the parents go off to a separate room and it’s good to talk to others in a similar situation.”