mum_daughterThis section is for parents and carers …


Pre-bereavement is the term given to the period of anticipatory grief experienced when someone has a serious life threatening condition. This period can range from days to years -and can be used as justification for not communicating anything to young people.

Caring adults often feel they need to have factual answers; however pre-bereavement is one area where even though the outcome of death may be inevitable, the space between knowing and happening is vast and changeable. This is an emotionally difficult time to experience as an adult and therefore it can feel overwhelming to know what to tell the children and how to go about it.

We hope this section can offer you and your family, a little support and guidance. There is no getting away from the fact you are in this together and it is well evidenced that in times of deepest turmoil, loving and open family units can provide the greatest source of comfort to one another.

Please see our links to the section on the right


As a parent or carer, our natural instinct might be to try and ‘protect’ a child from the feelings and emotions surrounding the death of a loved one. However, above all else, it is important to be honest and open and send the message that there is no right or wrong way to feel. Children are very perceptive and will pick up on much more than the words you say, so it’s important not to hide anything from them.

Children’s grief tends to come in waves. One minute, they will be upset and the next minute, they may seem absolutely fine. This can be quite distressing for a parent to cope with – but remember that children need to be allowed to grieve in their own time and in their own way.

It is incredibly tough to be there for your child when you are really struggling with your own grief. Children need to understand that it’s okay to cry as they will often take their emotional ‘cues’ from you. Balloons is here to guide you through and our Grief Support Workers are trained to help children work through their grief.

Please see our links to the section on the right

PDF Download

Download our comprehensive list of helpful resources.