The subject of talking to children about death is always complex. We recommend being as open as you can be but not forcing too much information onto them. Answer the questions they ask and then wait for the next questions.  Sometimes in our anxiety to ease their concerns we can overload them with information. A lot of children come and go with their focus on

death which is called puddlejumping. One day they want to talk about it a

lot, another day not at all and we need to follow their rhythm on this and not impose ours. We have a wonderful range of books in our library which we lend out and recently I was sent a link to this rather good radio programme on the subject. She lists a number of books which we do not currently have and that I was glad to be introduced to.


When it comes to funerals we always recommend telling children what will happen, offering to bring them up to visit before the day and ensuring that they have a trusted adult with them who is ready to just take them off for a walk or a drink if they do not want to stay at the funeral. In our experience funerals at Westmill never intimidate children and they usually like to be involved and come back to visit.  On the occasions when I see a car door open and a child rush out and head towards the gate into the burial ground my heart really gladdens because I feel we are getting something right here. They realise that coming here can be just as much about living as about remembering and grieving.  Bringing up a picnic or a ball or a pair of binoculars signals to children (and adults) that there are lots of things to enjoy when you get here.

Available from all good independent bookstores :

and Waterstones and Amazon.