Lost for Words book for bereaved children

New book to help young people through grief

A new free e-book has been released for Children’s Grief Awareness Week, featuring a collection of personal insights and advice for bereaved children by bereaved children, including those who have been supported by Winston’s Wish.

Lost for Words: Advice for Children About How to Deal with Grief was conceived and edited by Benjamin Brooks-Dutton; author of the Sunday Times Bestseller It’s Not Raining, Daddy, It’s Happy; award-winning Life as a Widower blogger and chair of the Life Matters task force for bereaved families. He explains why he decided to release this book:

“My son, Jackson, was just two years old when his mum died. I remember having absolutely no idea how to explain things to him and I was 33 at the time; I was the grown-up and even I was lost for words. How lost he must have felt when he could still barely talk.

“What I’ve learned since is that some people think that children don’t suffer as much as adults who someone dies. Anyone who has experienced the death of someone they love as a child, however, will understand that this simply isn’t true. It’s more likely that we just can’t find the words to express ourselves or that we don’t always feel safe enough to say them.

“Children’s Grief Awareness Week is all about helping people understand what bereavement is lie for the younger generation and learning more about how we can help. We all find ourselves lost for words when someone dies. And that’s why we have asked children who have been there – who are perhaps still there – to give us the words we need.

“This e-book is the first of its kind: a collection of personal insights and advice for bereaved children by bereaved children. Lost words now found through the passage of time and with the benefit of experience.

“This project also acknowledges how communication has changed. A generation ago, things were often worse. Many children never had the chance to speak out. A loved one would die, and they were never spoken of again. These days there are so many opportunities and new ways to express ourselves. When we are at a loss for what to say, we can now share our feelings online and in social media through pictures and emojis.

“I remember before my son could really articulate how he felt through words, he would often send me emoji messages from his grandparents’ phones. I realized that, even then, he was trying to share his feelings with me. And that’s why all the advice in this book is accompanied by emojis chosen by the contributors themselves. This year we celebrate and encourage expressions of grief and hope in any form.”

Download Lost for Words: Advice for Children About How to Deal with Grief here.

For guidance on supporting bereaved children and young people, you can call our Freephone National Helpline on 08088 020 021 (between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday) or email ask@winstonswish.org

Further support:

Lost for Words art exhibition for Children’s Grief Awareness Week

How to talk to a bereaved child

How to help bereaved children understand grief