Memory boxes and childhood bereavement

Losing a loved one at any age is tough. With an estimated 92% of young people expected to experience a significant bereavement before the age of 16, it is crucial that we find a way to support children and help them to understand and find healthy ways to understand, manage, and express their grief.

Encountering the death of a loved one for the first time can be a confusing, upsetting time. Children may find it difficult to express their grief verbally or may be reluctant to talk out of fear of upsetting those around them. By making a memory box together, it can create an opportunity to talk about the person you have both lost, help your child to open up about their feelings, and allow you both to share memories and reflect on your loved one.

For children who may be worried about forgetting the person who has died, a memory box can provide a safe place to keep special mementoes. Writing about or drawing special memories to keep in the memory box can also help encourage children to reflect on their emotions and express their grief in a creative way without the pressure or worries they may have about expressing themselves verbally. Grief journaling can also be a creative, simple way to encourage children to express themselves.

To help you get started, we have created a range of free memory box resources. Our simple comic strip can help explain the concept of memory boxes to younger children. Our memory box making guides for parents and kids provide simple, easy to follow instructions to help get you started.

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Written by Bonnie Evie Gifford

Bonnie Evie Gifford is a Senior Writer at Happiful.

Written by Bonnie Evie Gifford

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