Failing!

My son lost his dad between Christmas and new year last year. So it’s all very raw still. He’s coped amazingly well (he’s 9) and his school have been brilliant. He’s seen the school counsellor and I thought we were doing ok.
However this morning one of the school middays stopped me to say she’d had a very deep conversation with his on Tuesday about how he was thinking about growing up and that he didn’t really want to as all you did was die. But if he was dead at least he’d see his dad.
I’ve got to be honest I feel so awful and like I’ve failed him. He has never said anything like this to me and I just don’t know where to start with trying to help him.

Hi. Melly. It’s so difficult for a child to understand. It’s bad enough for us adults, but imagine how confused a child must be. Death has never entered their lives before and the shock and trauma can’t be imagined.
Oh no!!! You haven’t failed him. Now why would you think that? You sound a caring person and I doubt you are capable of failing anyone.
I can only suggest let time pass, but in the meantime love him. Give him as much care and love as you can. It’s love that may be missing in his life. I’m not saying you don’t do this, of course not, but it’s a remedy for grief. Love can work wonders in your situation.
It may be very difficult at first because he has to adjust to a new life without his dad. This is where patience and love can help so much.
Can you talk to one of the teachers. He may need more counselling. Take it easy and take care.

Thank you for your lovely reply.
We break up for the summer holidays tomorrow so will be spending time with him and loving him a little bit more than usual. Thank you.

Hi Melly, I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s dad and what he said about dying. I’m sure that was horrible for you to hear as a parent, but you are not failing him - you have already done a lot to support him and it is a good sign that he felt able to tell you those thoughts rather than bottling them up.

If you haven’t heard of them, I wanted to let you know about a really good organisation called Winston’s Wish, which offers lots of support and resources for people supporting bereaved children. You can call them on 08088 020 021 or find out more about how they can help here: https://www.winstonswish.org/supporting-you/

All the best to you and your son.

You might also be interested to read and reply to this recent post from Laura1982: My 10 year old son’s father passed away

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