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Winston’s Wish comments on Prince Harry’s regret about not talking about his mother’s death

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After Prince Harry told Rio Ferdinand, whose wife died in 2015, that he regrets not talking about the death of his mother Princess Diana, Helen Fisher, Family Services Team Leader for the South West at Winston’s Wish, has released the following comment:

“Prince Harry’s advice to Rio Ferdinand is really important for those who have experienced bereavement. For many, talking about death is difficult and as a result many don’t talk about their feelings following bereavement.

It is incredibly important to talk about death, particularly for children. Whilst the natural instinct for parents or the surviving parent is to protect their children, it’s important to have these conversations, which may be difficult and upsetting, to ensure that they understand the death. For those trying to talk to children about death, the best way to do so is to be direct and honest, and using age appropriate language. When children are not told things, they feel left out and can be confused by a lack of information. This can sometimes result in them blaming themselves for the death or making something up to help them make sense of what’s happened and how they are feeling. If the conversation is too difficult, find someone they trust or speak to a professional who can guide you through the process and help support your family through a difficult time.”

If you’re struggling to talk to a child about bereavement and are seeking advice, please call the Winston’s Wish Helpline on 08452 03 04 05.

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