Book to help children through loss of a loved one

Scott Otley (seated second from right) of Browns Houston & Williamson in Whiteabbey with local school and church representatives at the launch of the 'Amy and Tom' book, which is designed for adults helping children who are trying to cope with sudden bereavement.
Scott Otley (seated second from right) of Browns Houston & Williamson in Whiteabbey with local school and church representatives at the launch of the 'Amy and Tom' book, which is designed for adults helping children who are trying to cope with sudden bereavement.
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Funeral Services Northern Ireland has launched a 40-page picture book designed to help children cope with sudden bereavement.

‘Someone has died suddenly’ is a colourful and warm picture book designed to be read with an adult.

The aim of the book, which features characters Amy and Tom, is to help children of all ages cope with their loss and ensure they go on to lead full and happy lives. It is based on the findings of academic studies on how to help suddenly bereaved children and has been prepared in partnership with suddenly bereaved families.

A second book in the series - a guide for teachers entitled ‘Helping Bereaved Children’ - is also available.

Mary Williams OBE, author of the book, said: “A sudden death in the family is devastating for children. Children may feel unable to ask questions they desperately want answered; terrified of the extreme emotions they are experiencing; and overwhelmingly sad. They may lash out, withdraw from their social group, or find they are particularly sensitive or vulnerable to bullies. These books aim to help these children and parents, guardians, teachers, health workers and other adult carers to explore their emotions, needs and concerns at the bleakest of times.”

‘Amy and Tom’ books are available from local Funeral Services Northern Ireland homes, including Bairds Funeral Service, Ballyclare and Browns Houston & Williamson, Glengormley and Whiteabbey.