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What to expect in bereavement

When a child experiences the loss of a loved one, they may respond in many different ways, reactions to loss can include:

  • A diverse range of emotional reactions, varied and often mixed; anger, sadness, joy, fear, guilt, etc.
  • Disruptions to sleep; staying in bed longer than usual or finding it hard to fall asleep
  • Disruptions to appetite; comfort eating or reduced appetite due to anxiety
  • A greater need for tactile comfort (hugs, handholding, being close to other people)
  • Worry for other family members.

These are all very normal reactions; for some children they last longer than others, some experience all of these things, other only few. Try not to measure how your child is coping by comparing them to other family members or friend’s reactions.

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