Changes Over Time

Grief takes a lot of your energy and it is tiring. Many parents find that it can take up to two years for a normal routine to resume after the death of someone significant in your child’s life. There are, however, no hard and fast rules. Each family’s experience will always be different.

“My boys are not damaged. They have done it in their own way and in their own time.” (Jill)

“It never gets better, it gets easier.” (Anonymous)

“They need to be given the opportunity to continue talking about it. It’s not over in 6 months; it’s not over in 12 months. With your kids, communication needs to be left open. It’s very important.” (Paul)

“How kids understand what happened changes as they grow. My boys let out a bit more as they grow.” (Jill)

“Hannah’s grief came later. When she was about 5 and a half she asked what Samuel is dressed in. She wanted to know what clothes he had on. She wanted to see him and know what he looked like. I said that he would not look like how we remember him. She questioned us further and I said it was like when a flower dies and shrivels up. I showed her the photos taken after he died of Hannah holding him and kissing him ‘Goodnight’. These photos were a godsend. She cried and cried as she looked at the photos. Her grief was delayed till then. I knew then that she had just realised that he would not be coming back.” (Jenny)

“Now, she still sometimes gets emotional and questions ‘Why?’“ (Jenny)

“Jacob has always been a sensitive, mature person. He always looks after his brothers. Sometimes, he goes through patches where he’s quite serious, and I wonder how he really is. It’s five years now, and I don’t know how long it takes…. He remembers a lot. He remembers things about Lewis, but also the trauma. He sometimes says he remembers his Dad and I sitting on the hearth crying.” (Kath)

This article was prepared using extracts from What about the Other Kids?1 The full text is available online or contact Red Nose Grief and Loss Services on 1300 308 307 for a printed version.

Last reviewed: 23/5/22