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Heartbroken 6 year old

(27 Posts)
Ilovecheeseandlovinglife Wed 16-Jan-13 17:59:21

My eldest DD had a best friend who tragically died 6 months ago. They were literally joined at the hip, met t nursery and started school,gymnastics and rainbows together. Since friends passing DD reluctant to join in conversations, goes to bed early and is generally very quiet, a far cry from her usual bubbly self.
I knew this loss of her friend would be hard but I thought she would have shown some interest in life by now.
I just don't know what to do anymore, about a month after the funeral I took her away to Spain so we could have girl bonding time, I'm always suggesting we stay up and watch princess films, paint our nails, bake etc but she's just not interested. She doesn't want to visit the grave with flowers either which I thought might help. When I collected her from her rainbows last night and the leader informed me she asked to sit out during the games and just watched by herself.
I've been to my gp for advice who says she's just mourning and will be fine but it seems deeper than that to me.
Any advice from anyone would be great, don't know if I'm doing right by her anymore.

LadyMaryChristmas Wed 16-Jan-13 18:03:13

sad What a sad thread. Have you heard of winston's wish? They are a bereavement charity and do a lot of work with children who have lost parents or siblings. You should contact them and see if they can help or can point you in the right direction.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 16-Jan-13 18:03:32

How terrible. I am so sorry that your daughter lost someone she loved sad

Does your DD talk about it at all?

I know there are charities that support bereaved children, I am sure someone on here will know.

NeverQuiteSure Wed 16-Jan-13 18:07:15

Sorry, no real insight here, but if this is her first close encounter with death perhaps there are some deeper thoughts and fears that need addressing? Don't be afraid to go back to your GP if you feel it's more serious than he/she thinks.

Growlithe Wed 16-Jan-13 18:13:01

I'm sorry I don't have much experience of this. My DDs lost all their grandparents early on but bounced back quickly. A best friend can be so so important when you are that age though, in that you are with them every day.

Your thread made me recall that the British Heart Foundation made a video to help bereaved children come to terms with their feelings. Link. Have a look and see if it could help. Good luck, I really feel for her, poor thing.

Ilovecheeseandlovinglife Wed 16-Jan-13 18:18:01

Thanks for the links girls, think it'll take her a while but she'll get there. She mentioned her friend today which is quite rare.

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Wed 16-Jan-13 18:20:20

I agree contact winston's wish. When you say it seems deeper than mourning, what do you mean?

I wonder if yu have tried to cheer her up, understandably with the very best of intentions, and she maybe doesn't want t be cheered up yet? For example, what did you hope would be the out come of the holiday in Spain?

Grief is very hard and I wish your daughter all the best, and hope you feel less worried about her soon. So hard, not what we imagine at all for childhood friendships.

Greensleeves Wed 16-Jan-13 18:23:28

I think your GP needs a kick up the arse, personally. Your dd has suffered a terrible shock and loss at a very young age and it's not surprising she is struggling with it. I would say she needs some professional support, and the GP is supposed to signpost you to the right people to help her. I would take her back and ask about grief counselling or play therapy, and don't take no for an answer this time.

Poor little love sad

Growlithe Wed 16-Jan-13 18:27:03

Could you maybe access bereavement counselling through her school?

Greensleeves Wed 16-Jan-13 18:30:00

local children's centre might also be able to help, I worked in my local one for a few years and children could be referred for various counselling and therapy services that way.

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Wed 16-Jan-13 18:42:26

Yes, children's centre can smetimes refer in cases whe a child has a need but not a school/behavioural issue I think.

Moominsarehippos Wed 16-Jan-13 18:43:20

Poor little thing! Do you have a vicar or priest who could have a chat with her? She is mourning her friend and also probably pondering mortaity and worrying about family dying too.

Its a lot for a little person to handle. Let her talk if she wants (or talk to yourself out loud about the time something bad happened to you when you were small and how you felt so sad that you thought you'd never smile again, etc). She will take time to recover, but gently let her know that her friend would not want her to be sad and that she wont forget her.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 16-Jan-13 19:45:48

I wonder if she is dealing with the fear of losing someone else now, or the fear of dying herself? sad I know that I became very afraid of dying at this age anyway, without the tragic loss of one of my contemporaries.

Ilovecheeseandlovinglife Wed 16-Jan-13 20:22:28

I wasn't sure if it was possible but I think she has depression. Just seems deeper than mourning to me. We went to Spain as I knew she needed to get away for a break for her, even just a change of scenery as I thought it would do her good. She did seem to be a bit more happy there but when we came home reality hit her.
We have made her a 'thoughts box' for her to write in thoughts and post for when she doesn't want to talk. Luckily she's eating well now but won't allow herself to have any 'fun' snacks.
Feel so awful for her, we lost her granny last year so she does understand that people die but maybe came as a shock to her that 2 such close people died close together

SamsGoldilocks Wed 16-Jan-13 20:38:18

One of the TA's at dc's school kept a bottle of bubbles in the classroom for a little girl whose dad had recently died. She could blow bubbles in the class when she was thinking of her dad. I think something about the bubbles drifting up and away towards where she thought her dad might be, helped her to grieve.

I don't know if something like that would help your dd.

Ilovecheeseandlovinglife Wed 16-Jan-13 20:43:47

Awe the bubbles is a lovely idea. Thank you will def give it a try x

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Wed 16-Jan-13 20:45:35

Depression is possible. But also mourning/grief can last a fair while.

Ring winston's wish. They are good.

What happened is genuinely very sad and scary. Have you talked with her about how sad it is? How have you expressed your grief and shock at what happened? I wonder if she feels it is not fair that she can have fun still but her friend can't. A counsellor or play therapist could really address something like that. When she doesn't want fun snacks, does she say why?

Whatevertheweather Wed 16-Jan-13 20:49:30

Oh how sad - I can recommend again Winston's Wish. My daughter was nearly 5 when we lost her baby sister in 2011. She seems to express quite a lot through drawing. Also she finds comfort in writing messages on balloons and releasing them. We've had to address some quite deep concerns but nearly 18 months on she's doing really well. We still talk about Erin all the time and she says even now it makes 'her heart hurt' that she's not here. Very hard. Your poor dd I hope you can get the right support for her. Play therapy at our local surestart centre was also mentioned - may be worth enquiring about.

YDdraigGoch Wed 16-Jan-13 20:52:23

My DDs boyfriend died when they were both 14, about 18 months ago. It's taken her a year to get over it. She missed loads of school, but they were very understanding.
It all takes time - just be patient. The school should be able to arrange counselling for your DD.

adoptmama Wed 16-Jan-13 20:56:23

Art therapy can be very effective with children this age when dealing with grief and feelings they cannot express or indeed even name verbally. If she is not able to move forward in her grief in a healthy way or fears expressing some ideas - such as anger at her friend for leaving her, fear of death etc. - then professional help may be very beneficial in helping her process what happened and heal.

Ilovecheeseandlovinglife Wed 16-Jan-13 20:57:53

We made sure we cried in front of her too so she knew she wasn't grieving alone and we planted a flower in the garden for her friend for her to look after which she liked. She's also named her doll Ellie after her friend. She knows how shocked we were about the death but I don't think she realised people could die suddenly. She knew when her granny was dying because we told her and she could cope better as she could give her granny kisses and said goodbye to her the day before she died.

Ilovecheeseandlovinglife Wed 16-Jan-13 21:00:04

Thanks for all the support everyone, all noted and truly grateful for all the responses. And sorry to read of your loses too x

Ilovecheeseandlovinglife Wed 16-Jan-13 21:02:12

Thanks for all the support everyone, all noted and truly grateful for all the responses. And sorry to read of your loses too x

donteatthefiggypudding Wed 16-Jan-13 21:07:09

so sorry to hear about your daughter, Ilovecheese. I wonder about whether she is fearing death itself. my DS2 is 6, and is very anxious about death - and he hasn't had the devastating experience that your dd has had. i agree about getting furhter help, and maybe reassuring her that you, her dad, and those around her aren't going to die anytime soon.

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Wed 16-Jan-13 21:19:16

I do think also that even by age 6 or 7 kids kind 'get' the idea of old people dying but the thought of young people dying is just so shocking ( even for us).

Good luck with it all.

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