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How to tell a child a loved one is dying

How To Tell A Child A Loved One Is Dying

How you tell your child a loved one is dying is the most difficult conversation an adult is likely to have with a young person. So we are delighted to have collaborated with the Critical Care Team at East Surrey Hospital to produce a leaflet to help support families during such a devastating time.

‘Preparing Your Child for the Loss of a Loved One’ shares advice about how and what to say to children and young people before and after a death and suggestions about making lasting memories.

Jigsaw (South East) Service Manager Jennie Hattan said:

“The team at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust asked us to write something they could give to families who had a loved one who had died or was dying in Intensive Care Units. These are usually unexpected deaths, so there is little time to prepare the children.

“Often adults aren’t ready for such news and they’re dealing with their own emotions whilst supporting children and young people. It’s so difficult for them to know where to start. Jigsaw (South East) works with families who are bereaved and those preparing for loss.

“We are proud to be involved in this project to support vulnerable families during a distressing time. A leaflet cannot take away the pain, but it can guide adults and help them work out what is best for their child”.

Please go to if you need advice or support or want to find out more about our child bereavement charity,






Main photo:  Rebecca Phelan ICU Nurse, Dr Claire Mearns ICU Consultant and Claire Rowley, Nurse Consultant for Critical Care outreach.

With thanks to East Surrey Hospital, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, SASH Charity, The National Lottery Community Fund.

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