Supporting grieving children and young people during the Easter break

March 2024


The Easter break can be a time for joy and celebration for many, but for those who are grieving the death of someone, it can be an especially challenging time.

For some children and young people, school or college can serve as a distraction from their grief, so when the holidays come around, the change in routine can bring up thoughts and emotions that they may have been previously masking. If you are supporting a grieving child or young person, they may need extra care and understanding during this time.

Here are some ways you can help to manage grief over the Easter break.

Open communication

Encourage open and honest communication with the children and young people that you are supporting. Let them know that it’s okay to talk about their feelings and memories of the person who has died. It’s also important to let them know that it’s okay to feel however they want to feel during this time.

Create ways to help them express their feelings

Supporting children and young people to express their emotions can be helpful. Sometimes they may not have the words to say but they can express how they feel in other ways, like painting, drawing or play. 

Other ways to help express how they feel, is through meaningful rituals. This could be anything from lighting a candle in honour of the person who has died to planting a flower in their memory.

Acknowledge how they want to grieve

It’s important to respect and acknowledge how children and young people want to grieve over the Easter period. Some may want to take part in traditional celebrations, while others may prefer to spend quiet time alone or with family. 

However, they want to grieve is okay and they shouldn’t be forced to act in a way that isn’t in line with how they are feeling.

Offer practical support

Offer practical support to help alleviate some of the stress that may come from any responsibilities that they may be facing whilst grieving. This could be things like household chores, preparing meals, or helping with homework or studies.

Plan healthy distractions

Plan activities or outings that can serve as healthy distractions during the Easter break. Whether it’s going for a walk in nature, watching a movie, or participating in a creative project. Finding ways to engage their minds and bodies can be beneficial.

Take care of yourself

Remember to also take care of yourself as well, especially if you are also grieving the death of the same person. You cannot pour from an empty cup, so make sure to prioritise your own self-care and seek support. We’re here to help.

Seek professional help if needed

If the grieving child or young person is struggling to cope, don’t hesitate to reach out to Winston’s Wish. Managing grief can be tricky. There isn’t a step-by-step process as emotions can be up one minute and down the next. But don’t worry, if you need support, there is help available through charities like Winston’s Wish.

The Easter break may be a difficult time for some grieving children and young people, but not for all. It’s important to check in to see if they need extra support but also ok to give them space if they do not.

 

How to get grief support

Winston’s Wish provides support for children, young people up to the age of 25 and adults supporting them. 

You can call the Freephone Helpline on 08088 020 021 (8am-8pm, Monday to Friday), email ask@winstonswish.org or use the live chat (open 8am-8pm, Monday to Friday). Winston’s Wish’s support workers are here to listen, can offer immediate guidance and resources and tell you what support we can offer and what might be most suitable for you. 

The Winston’s Wish Crisis Messenger is available 24/7 for urgent support in a crisis. Text WW to 85258.