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Support • 4 min read

Grief in children: how to help them cope

The death of a loved one can be extremely tough on kids. Here are some ways to help children process their loss to ensure they’re grieving properly.

The death of a loved one can be extremely tough on kids. But there are ways to help children process their loss to ensure they’re grieving properly.

When a loved one dies, children show and feel their grief in different ways. It’s important, though, that children feel safe to feel the way they need to feel and to process their emotions. There are, of course, ways you can help your children get through the trauma of losing someone close to them. There are also things you can do to help them along the way.

Talk to them honestly

Most children are aware of death, even if they may not understand it. In fact, many cartoons and kids’ shows actually deal with death in a way that children can relate to. But experiencing grief first-hand can be confusing and very upsetting.

The important thing to remember is that you need to be honest with the kids without volunteering too much information. Speak in age-appropriate terms and be direct. Kids are literal, so if you use euphemisms like ‘mummy is in the clouds now’ or ‘grandpa went to sleep’, they can become quite afraid and also quite upset when mummy doesn’t come back from the clouds or grandpa doesn’t wake up.

Create some mementos for them

Just because a loved one is gone, doesn’t mean they’ll be forgotten. Children relate to physical things, so having something that reminds them of the person they’ve lost can help them manage their emotions. If death is expected, a nice idea may be to write letters to the child that they can open when they get older.

Another way to help them remember is a photobook of the person’s story. Who they were, when they were born, photos of them when they were young and then growing up. Of course, include photos of your child with the relative so there is a visual clue. You can even write memories alongside the photos for your child to read.

When clearing out closets, take a piece of clothing from the lost loved one and create a pillow, a bear or a blanket. This gives your child something physical to hold and a blanket can even help comfort them—like a warm hug.

Show your own grief

Kids model behaviour so if you are sharing your own grief in a healthy way, they know it’s ok to do so too. Don’t hide your emotions from them. Crying alongside your child shows them that it’s ok to express themselves.

At the same time, show your child that it’s ok to smile and laugh. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve and the same goes for your child. They need to know that it’s ok to laugh, even though everyone around them may be sad.

Put protections in place

The death of a loved one, especially a parent, can be very disruptive for a child. A whole piece of their world is now gone and it can cause a lot of emotional trauma. It’s important that these emotions are dealt with, otherwise they can bottle up and cause long-term issues.

The last thing family members want to think about is covering everyday expenses. Putting insurance protections in place, such as Life Insurance, could provide a safety net for the family, so you can focus on your grief and your children can continue to live their lives as normally as possible.

While making plans for the loss of a loved one is difficult to talk about, having the tough conversations now will help make things easier in the long run for your loved ones. Insuranceline is here to make it easier. If you need assistance setting up your Life Insurance plan, contact Insuranceline on 13 77 87 or get an online quote.


Important information

Cover under the Funeral Insurance Benefit is for Accidental Death only for the first 12 months of cover, including for any increases. Accidental Death has a special meaning in the PDS and some causes of death are excluded during this time—please refer to the PDS or call us for further details. After the first 12 months, the Funeral Insurance Benefit provides cover for all causes of death.

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^Insuranceline Win 1 of 5 $1000 Visa Cards (Competition). Subject to the Terms and Conditions, the Promotor is offering customers a chance to win one of five Digital Visa Gift Cards valued at $1,000, in one of the four draws. Entry commences on the 1st of April 2024 and will run for four months until 11:59pm AEST on the 31st of July 2024 (Entry Period). During the Entry Period, to be eligible to participate in the Competition, customers must get a quote and take out a new Insuranceline Life Insurance, Income Protection Insurance, or Funeral Insurance policy to enter the Competition. A maximum of one (1) entry into the Competition will be awarded per eligible policy. The Promotion is not open to existing customers, or customers who have cancelled a Promoter branded policy in the 12 months prior to the commencement of the Entry Period and then taken out a new Insuranceline branded policy. Each of the four Prize Draws will take place at Level 16, 1 Denison Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 on the respective Prize Draw and Time, as listed in the table in Condition 13 (and if any Redraws if there are any unclaimed prizes, Condition 19) of the full Terms and Conditions, and the winners will be sent an email and will be attempted to be notified via phone within two (2) business days of the Draw and published on Max. retail value of the total prize pool is $20,000. To be eligible at time of the draw, customers must still have an active policy and have paid 1 month of premiums in full. View eligibility criteria and full terms and conditions here. Promoter: TAL Direct Pty Limited ABN 39 084 666 017 AFSL 243260. Permits: NSW NTP/09255, ACT TP24/00483, & SA Licence No. T24/388.

**Bonus 10% more cover is calculated on the fifth anniversary from the Policy Commencement Date. Each adult life insured will have an extra 10% of the average Funeral Insurance Cover amount held during the previous five years added to their Funeral Insurance benefit. Terms and conditions apply. Refer to the PDS for more information.

#Claims paid figures relate to all Insuranceline life insurance policies in the 2021 financial reporting year (1 April2021 to 31 March 2022). All claims on Insuranceline policies are assessed against the relevant policy terms and conditions. These terms and conditions, as well an explanation of the claims process, can be found in the applicable Product Disclosure Statement. Claims are administered and settled by the insurer, TAL Life Limited.

***Insuranceline is the longest standing provider of Funeral Insurance in Australia, based on: Strategic Insight, Actuaries & Researchers. Funeral Insurance means a policy with periodic premium payments that provides a lump sum to help pay for funeral and associated expenses when you die and excludes pre-paid Funeral Plans and Funeral Bonds.

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Promoted by Insuranceline, a trading name of TAL Direct Pty Limited (of Level 16, 363 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000) ABN 39 084 666 017 AFSL 243260. TAL Life Limited ABN 70 050 109 450 AFSL 237848 issues the life insurance benefits. St Andrew's Insurance (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 89 075 044 656 AFSL 239649 issues the Involuntary Unemployment Cover.

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