Children and grief

Hello all, 

My dear dad passed away on New Year’s Eve after a 6 month battle with lung cancer. 
My children (6 and 10) meant the absolute world to him and we would visit as often as he could. They saw him 3 days before Christmas and he was very perky with them and eating cakes together and talking about Christmas - my dad loved Christmas! On Christmas Day we went over but it was a very different visit - my dad was breathing but unresponsive and it was a truly awful time watching the kids open presents with my dad in that way while telling them he can hear them. In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have taken them but the thought of him not seeing them on Christmas Day was unbearable - he always said he wanted one last Christmas. 
Anyway, a week later he passed away (the kids didn’t see him after Christmas Day). 
My 10 year old has struggled with his death and just when I thought it was getting better she seems to be struggling again (I don’t think pre teen hormones are helping). She gets angry out of nowhere and upset but where she did talk to us she now doesn’t. 
I was wondering if anyone could give me any pointers for specific grief counselling or even books that she can read? She loves reading but the book about grief I shared with them was aimed at younger children - think that was more about me having  to cope with reading it with them. 
The more I think about it, the more I think realise it’s not just about his death, it’s about her watching the joking, funny fun loving grandad go through the illness.
Thanks for reading and any help that comes my way x  

  • Hi,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I also lost my Dad to Lung Cancer in Feb 2022. I have 3 children, 13, 11 and 7 months. My 2 eldest children were so close to my Dad, my baby was only 3 months when he passed.

    Although I can’t really offer any advice as to how to help them deal with the grief, I understand how hard it is when you also have young children who idolise their Grandad. We all had to watch my Dad lose himself in his diagnosis, he was only diagnosed in June 2021 and I never told my children he had Cancer, I said he was poorly but could never bring myself to tell them the C word because I was still processing it and I didn’t want to worry them, I thought so many times, should I be honest and tell them but couldn’t bring myself to do it.

    Sadly, he went into hospital on his birthday in Feb, which was a Saturday and my children saw him last on the Weds leading up to his birthday. He gave him his present, which he loved and he sat and ate some pizza with us which was so hard for him as he had trouble swallowing and no appetite. I never thought that would be the last time they spent time with him. Sadly he passed away 6 days later, shocking. 

    Breaking the news was heartbreaking, they had some time off school, we all cried, we chatted etc and they are slowly getting on with life without my Dad but I know full well they miss him and wish he was here with us, they haven’t got used to not seeing him sitting in his usual spot on the sofa, it’s empty.

    I’m sorry you and your family are going through this and I can’t offer much but wanted to reply to say I know how you are feeling. There is always a possibly of some counselling for your daughter, maybe through school? Sometimes children open up to people that aren’t family, maybe she doesn’t really know how to deal with all the emotions she is experiencing at the moment?

    I hope things get better for you all and keep us posted x