Its been the longest day!

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  • #51070 Report


    Today is my first day as a single parent. Yesterday my beautiful wife passed away.    My heart has broken twice once when my wife died and again when I had to tell my daughter.

    My daughter is nearly four. Does anyone have any advice on young children and how they cope with the death of a parent.

    #51071 Report


    My heart skipped a beat when I read your very tragic post a few minutes ago,I wasn’t expecting to read something like this and I think I speak for everyone else who read it as well.

    I’m so sorry for your circumstances….you must be feeling so overwhelmed right now.I actually cannot even imagine how you must be feeling while your pain is so raw!

    I don’t have experience in this,but of the acquaintances I know whose young children have lost parents,they seem to deal better than the adults around them- if the situation is dealt with openly and they feel able to discuss any worries freely.

    I hope you have friends or family to fall back on in this lonely time and get more helpful advice.Wishing you a lot of strength and love to your little girl.


    #51077 Report


    Hi Phil,

    Im really sorry for your loss and my heart goes out to you as ive been through this myself.  When my wife passed last year it was hard enough but i had to tell the kids. They were 12 , 6 and 4.   My God i promise ive never had to do anything so hard in my life. The 6 year old and the 4 year found it hard to process the information and  12 year old has been hit hard as she was very close to her mum. Its been a year now since her passing and i feel ive learnt a lot. Ive learnt that its ok to cry ( i still do). Ive learnt its ok to ask for help with the children. Ive learnt that the younger the child the harder it is for them to fully understand as my child was 4 at the time. All i could do was to keep her memory alive with photos,keepsakes etc.  I always remind him of how great his mum was .  He still mentions his mum and recognises her face in photos.  Stay strong buddy and give your daughter loads of extra hugs as you are both going through this together.

    #51078 Report


    So sorry to hear of your loss, how very painful.

    I know it’s not the same and your situation harder as it’s your little one’s mum but…

    I lost my dad just under a month ago, and my girls really struggle as they were so close to him. We share memories, photos and they pick flowers for his grave. They wanted some colourful windmills so we got some of those too. Little one is four and doesnt understand what death means, so still asks for him and wants to see him but I remind her that he is gone. We cry together and at times I let them see that I am sad too so they know that it’s ok to be sad. Then I ensure that I plan lots of things to keep them busy too and to spend time doing things and seeing people who are not grieving.

    I draw on my faith which helps and we talk about heaven but I know that’s not the right thing for everyone and we talk about people he is with right now.

    I hope that you have some support for yourself and your little one and find a way through. Such early days for you, be kind to yourself.

    Sending lots of best wishes


    #51123 Report


    We have had a good number of hugs and tears together. Its hard when your asked will mum be at home, where is mum and having to repeat the information again and again.

    Thank you for your response and for sharing your experience.


    #51125 Report


    Yes that’s really difficult as 4 yrs old too young to understand.

    Sounds like you doing a great job, especially as you dealing with your own grief as well.

    I know tbere are published books, articles, websites that can support young children with grief but not all children are same so it’s about finding the right one/s if that was an option to consider.

    Such early days, this has only just happened, be kind to yourself, perhaps keep your little one close to you for a while..

    Best wishes to you both

    #51126 Report



    ‘Be kind to yourself’ might sometimes sound silly or impossible bc there’s too much to do….but it’s really important.If at all possible offload as much as you can in the practical day to day running of your lives for some time onto other people,accept as much as you are offered,people don’t mean to be intrusive they often really want to help, or ask bc its best if you can concentrate on your grief for a bit,not trying to rush it away.I’ve not been in your situation but have suffered a loss and I found I tried to pretend it was business as usual and it came back to bite me.Take care.



    #51520 Report

    Hi Phil

    I’m Michelle one of the Moderators here.  I’m really sorry to hear about your bereavement and what you and your daughter are experiencing right now.  I’m so glad that you’re here getting some support.  I know it’s early days and that there will be a lot to adjust to as you begin to figure things out.  There is a lot of support available for when you need it. I’m adding some information below that I hope will help.

    You’d asked initially about how young children cope with the death of a parent.  Cruse Bereavement Care offer support and produce leaflets and information that’s specific to this issue.  here are their details:

    Cruse Bereavement Care – offers face to face, telephone and online support to those who have been bereaved

    And a link that’s a bit more specific to your question.

    94149 Supporting bereaved children.pdf (

    There’s also some guidance available within the Gingerbread site which can be found at the following link:

    Bereavement – Gingerbread

    Another charity who offer support are Child Bereavement UK:

    We help children and young people (up to age 25), parents, and families, to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies.  Child Bereavement UK

    I know you’ve asked about your daughter.  It’s important to remember yourself in this too.  You can of course use any of this information for support for yourself whenever you may need it.

    I hope that helps

    Take care Phil













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