Toddler looking for Daddy – dealing with bereavement with a two year old

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  • #28228 Report


    We lost my little girl’s daddy just before she turned one. Dealing with the grief has been made a million times easier having little lady in my life – however, now – as she’s past two and understands a load more – she’s taken to approaching random dads at the playpark or toddler groups saying “daddy, daddy” and it’s shattering my heart – because shes clearly looking to identify with someone that is a dad and I can never give that to her – I also have no idea how/ when to talk to her or explain death and how it means she has a daddy, but he’s not here? Help!!

    #28247 Report

    Hi Livvysmum

    Thank you for posting on our forum.  There may well be parents here that have been through similar situations and I hope they will make contact with you soon.  Widowed and Young have lots of groups locally and have a very informal set up.  No workers, just people that have lost partners.  Another agency that may be able to provide support is Family Lives.  They can give support around parenting issues.

    • Widowed and Young provide peer to peer support service for men and women under 50 who have lost a partner.  It is run by a network of volunteers and offers a range of services.

    • Family Lives provide general support to families on issues around parenting, emotional support and just generally coping as a parent  0808 800 2222

    I hope this helps and I wish you well for the future.

    Take care, Justine

    #28248 Report


    Thanks so much 🙂 – I have a few books that deal with loss for young children – my favorite is “My love will always find you” – but I struggle to read them to her because I’m usually in tears before the end and I worry that seeing that will confuse her or potentially frighten her. Very glad to hear the “daddy” thing is normal though – it is a real worry for me that she will need something I can’t give her!

    #28290 Report



    I agree with above comments. I haven’t suffered bereavement but when my ex husband left us, my son would do the same and say ‘dad’ to any man he saw which was upsetting. Then over time and talking to him about the situation, he started saying ‘someone else’s daddy’ when we say a man. So think it is a developmental thing.

    I can also recommend ‘invisible string’ as a lovely story to help.

    I’m sorry I can’t help you more.


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