The event of a death can evoke many different emotions for people, and children are no exception. The Queen’s recent death and funeral this week may have prompted a number of questions for children around death and dying, or may even have stirred up emotions which could relate to another bereavement they’ve faced.

Strathcarron Hospice’s Family Support Social Worker, Amy Cordiner provides some guidance on how to discuss these issues with your children.1. Be honest: It's important to be honest with children when talking about death and dying. They may have many questions about what happened to the Queen (or a loved one) and what is happening now. It is important to explain to them as simply as possible what has happened. You may want to explain that the Queen’s heart and body have stopped working and this is what happens when someone dies.2. Use straightforward language: Children can find it confusing when we say someone has “gone to sleep” or passed away” so try to use straightforward language like ‘death’ or ‘dying’..3. It’s ok to feel emotions: Children will experience a whole range of different emotions when faced with any death. By sharing how you feel with your children, you create a safe space to talk about emotions. Let them know that it’s also OK not to cry or even feel upset, if that’s how they feel.

The national charity, Child Bereavement UK is a useful resource for tools and tips on how to explain death to children.