Helping Children overcome Loss

Inspired from Dawn’s Tales From The Motherland

Dawn’s touching post on how the unbearable loss of her father at her age of ten has caused many years of suffering for her and her younger siblings. Dawn attended the funeral, but as I understand the situation, she was not told about the accident so that her hatred was pointed at the murderer, the driver who had hit her father on his motorbike.

I posted a comment far down on the comment area after many other comments on Dawn’s post :

Dear Dawn! I know that it’s a long list of comments, but I too would like to thank you for this heartfelt and honest post on your loss of your father. I would like to make a pingback to your post in a future post on helping children to come through grieving. Love from Maria ( a former Health Visitor)

And I got such a beautiful answer back:

Maria, thank you very much for taking the time to read this piece, and reach out to comment. I appreciate your time, and always appreciate having my work shared. Thanks for reaching out!

As you can see from my post here I haven’t solved the problems for the children, because I think that the surviving parent has to show more interest in helping and understanding his children. I am sure that it’s hard to realise as a parent that the children are suffering, so it’s easy to just hope they will grow up without scars on their souls.

Seventeen years ago I had a job as a district nurse for a short time waiting, for a job as a health visitor. I had been abroad with my children for five years, and it was difficult to get the job I was educated for.

A young mother with two children, three and five years old, was dying from breast cancer. She suffered immensely, and I was thinking of the small children and without a mother. The severe illness had been for some years already waving on and off. No medication seemed to relieve her pain. She died on a day in May 1998.

Some months after I got my desired job as a health visitor in the same town and precisely the year after her death I saw the girl in her first grade like I was checking up on all her classmates on how they were doing physically and emotionally. The custom is that one parent goes with the child in the first classes and in this case, her paternal grandmother was with her.

I asked if I should go home and visit the father and her two children. I was allowed to do that. I told the family that I had been involved in the caring for the mother the year before as one of the many nurses and I also asked if we should take a walk to the churchyard nearby.


I went there with the father and his children, and we had a good talk about the loss of the mother. I found some material for them about loss, made especially for children from an organisation helping cancer patients and their families. The girl seemed like she was thriving. As the years went on the boy also became a schoolboy. He was always looking down and not at all really thriving. He seemed very insecure. The father worked a lot, and it was difficult for me to contact him. He had developed a habit of going to his mother for dinners every night and was not really recovering from his loss. I am convinced that the children should have had more help from a professional than what I was able to give, but I did what I could to tell the children that I had known their mother and that I also knew it was tough to grow up without a mother.

The last years of the school time for the children they seemed to do well, and I had eye contact with the boy. I have not been able to follow them after this. The grandmother has indeed done a lot of compensation for the loss in their early childhood.


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