Children and Loss

“Today, the very shape, size, and configuration of children and adults that reside in families are as varied as one’s imagination.

The modern family stands in sharp contrast to the 1950’s idealised image of the” traditional family”. While some may regret the transformation, the truth is that families have always been in flux, changing and adapting to society’s needs and circumstances…”

“Wisdom suggests that society must pay attention to the emotional well being of its children. If we do not make children and young adults our highest priority then society will reap the harvest of its own neglect. More than ever the daily pressures on mothers, fathers, extended family and caregivers require that the wider community offers support and services to strengthen the family unit especially during times of crisis and significant loss….”

The above excerpts come from “Children and Loss” – a general guide to understanding and supporting children who experience a significant loss. To read the full document please click here.
Recommended books and resources

Recommended books and resources

We acknowledge that it is often very, very difficult to talk with children and young people following death and bereavement and loss. Thankfully, there are now many wonderful books which have been found to be of assistance to children and young people and to parents, carers and professionals.
Please click here to access a list of really useful books.

Irish Hospice Foundation

The Irish Hospice Foundation has produced leaflets which provide information on different aspects of bereavement and are available to download from their website here »

There is also a document on Adolescent Grief, please click here.

Irish Cancer Society

The Irish Cancer Society has produced a guide for parents on talking to children about cancer here »

Wintson’s Wish have a book aimed at supporting parents and care givers when explaining cancer to young children here>>


The Barnardos website also has a range of useful leaflets on bereavement and separation:

Barnardos Parenting Postively booklet – Coping with Death
Booklet for Adults
Booklet for Children

‘Young Children Grieve Too’ – A guide for Parents and Carers of Children under 6 who have been bereaved.

Barnardos Guide – Death
Helping Children Understand
Helping Teenagers Understand

Barnardos Parenting Postively booklet – Coping with Separation
Booklet for Adults
Booklet for Children


Family Mediation Service

The Family Mediation Service has a range of leaflets which provide help for separating families.

What is the Family Mediation Service?

The end of a Marriage – A time of grieving and loss

How children react to separation or divorce

We are separating.  What do we tell the children?

What is a parenting plan?

Managing the Stress of separation or divorce