Dominika’s husband died from cancer when her sons Ethan and Hayden were four and six years old.  They talk about how they were supported by Child Bereavement UK following his death.

Dominika

As much as I tried my hardest throughout the years to support them the best I could, I knew that it was time to get some professional help.

My two wonderful boys Hayden and Ethan lost their Dad to cancer four and a half  years ago - at the time they were only four and six years old. We knew about his diagnosis for three and a half years prior to his death and it was my job not only to support them on my own after their Dad passed away, but also to prepare them for this heart-breaking day. 

I've always been very open and honest with them about death. Although they probably don't remember much from that time, I feel it has been extremely important in helping them cope with it today. Although they attended some counselling at the hospice, it was stopped shortly after their Dad passed away as there was only limited work that could have been done due to their young age. 

They both grieved very differently; my younger son Ethan was very emotional every time he even thought of his Dad, my older son Hayden, on the other hand, didn’t cry much and always reassured me that he was absolutely fine. As much as I tried my hardest throughout the years to support them the best I could, I knew that it was time to get some professional help and I reached out to Child Bereavement UK at the end of last year. 

The boys started their bereavement sessions in January 2021 which wasn’t easy in the middle of another national lockdown. We first met as a family over Zoom and the boys also had individual sessions throughout the year. Last month, we were finally able to meet with their bereavement support practitioner face to face for the first time - it was the highlight of our half-term break!

Ethan, aged 9

I learned how to deal with my emotions about my Dad’s death by talking and doing different activities.

In 2017 my Dad died because of cancer which was very sad because I’d only known him for four years. When he died, I was very emotional and overwhelmed. I couldn’t cope with my feelings, so my Mum asked Child Bereavement UK for help.

Thanks to them I learned how to deal with my emotions about my Dad’s death by talking and doing different activities. During one of them Sharon, my bereavement support practitioner asked me about things that make me sad and happy because back then I didn’t like to share my feelings.

On the last session we played games like Jenga and dominoes and talked about how it is good to sometimes take risks in life. I really appreciate all the help that Child Bereavement UK has given me.