Generally children do not understand the meaning of death until they are 3 – 4 years old. Yet they feel the loss of a close friend or relative in much the same way as adults. Even in infancy, it is clear that children grieve and feel great distress. Children experience the passage of time differently and can therefore appear to overcome grief quite quickly.
Children in their early school years may need reassuring that they are not responsible for the death of a close relative as they may blame themselves. A young person’s grief should not be overlooked, as they will often not want to burden parents by talking about it. For this reason they should be included in the funeral arrangements.