Jenni Thomas Talks About Child Bereavement

Guidance and stories around child bereavement

Latest episode

  • 1. How to talk to children about death when a parent has a terminal illness

    Jenni Thomas and Nick Heath introduce the series which is aimed at helping those who are grieving or anyone who is supporting someone who is bereaved.They are joined by former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss whose wife Ruth died after a diagnosis of lung cancer.In the year leading up to Ruth’s death, Jenni saw both her and Andrew to help them talk to their children at a very difficult time. Andrew talks about the support that Jenni provided and how the family managed Ruth’s funeral.Angus Lawson Memorial Trust - Strauss Foundation - Support –'s Centres -'s Wish - Bereavement Care - Bereavement Network - UK - Missing Mummy (book) - is About Me & You (via ALMT site) - to using This is About Me & You (via ALMT site) - Thomas website with further resources - 

More episodes

View all episodes

  • 2. Grieving the death of your baby

    Jenni describes her life’s work learning from parents who have experienced the tragedy of their baby’s death, whether before, at or soon after birth.In this episode, Jenni explains how, through her career in the NHS and having founded the Child Bereavement Trust (now CBUK), she has learned how to support parents and children when a baby has died.Jenni shares how she has helped parents and enabled them to understand their grief and have a continuing bond with their baby as they move on with life.Angus Lawson Memorial Trust - and Neonatal Death Association (SANDS) – Together, for every baby - www.tommys.orgSaying Goodbye, support for miscarriage and baby loss - Babies Facebook page - – for babies born premature or sick - Association - Compassionate Friends - Legacy of Leo, baby loss -, miscarriage and stillbirth support - Risk in the Young - with John Bowlby (book) - Me His Name, Elle Wright (book) - Does Dead Mean? (book) - Thomas website with further resources -
  • 3. Children and grief

    In this episode, Jenni shares what she has learned from bereaved children when a mother or father, sister or brother, or another important person in their life has died.It was bereaved children’s questions that encouraged Jenni to co-write her book with Caroline Jay ‘What does dead mean?’, a resource which helps parents to explain death and dying. A link to buy the book is below. Jenni also asks Nick to share his experiences of grief following the death of his mother when he was 14.Angus Lawson Memorial Trust -'s Wish - Bereavement Network - Bereavement UK (formerly Child Bereavement Trust) - Bereavement Care -’s Rainbow -’s Dream -, grief support - Rennie Hospice Care - Does Dead Mean? (book) - Thomas website with further resources -
  • 4. The unexpected death of a husband and father

    Jenni and Nick are joined by Caren who talks openly about the impact on her and her four children of the death of her husband Leon, who was killed in a car accident.Caren describes to Jenni how her main concern was what she could do or say to help her children, who were aged from 12 to 21, and to understand her own grief.Caren also shares her experiences of counselling and how she and her children benefitted from the support Jenni was able to offer them as a family.Angus Lawson Memorial Trust - Death, supporting people after sudden death - for the Family - Bereavement Care -'s Not Raining, Daddy, It's Happy (book) - Thomas website with further resources -
  • 5. Lisa and Stuart and a heart-breaking decision

    This episode sees Jenni and Nick joined by guests Lisa and Stuart who talk about Hope, their unborn baby with whom there were complications.At the 20-week scan, they learned of major problems in Lisa’s second pregnancy and in the following eight weeks had to make a heart-breaking decision to have a medical termination.Jenni talks to Lisa and Stuart about how they managed their grief as a couple and how they remember Hope to their son Archie.Angus Lawson Memorial Trust - Results and Choices (ARC) – www.arc-uk.orgStillbirth and Neonatal Death Association (SANDS) – Together, for every baby - www.tommys.orgJenni Thomas website with further resources -
  • 6. The death of a child

    Jenni talks about the grief experienced when a child dies. From the different ways that partners can grieve to how trauma can affect grief, Jenni draws on her lifetime of experience to share what parents have said was important to them following the death of a child at any age.Jenni describes how there is no right or wrong way to grieve. She explains that there are very different and varied ways in which people may behave after the death of a child, in particular that anxiety is often misunderstood and not recognised as a normal part of grieving.Angus Lawson Memorial Trust - Spargo Mabbs Foundation - Compassionate Friends - Bereavement Care -'s Wish -’s Garden -’s Rainbow - Danger Age film - Trickey website - Cave writing - Cave music - Care for Children and Families (book) - Thomas website with further resources -
  • 7. Learning from Naomi and living with a child with a life-limiting illness

    Nicky joins Jenni and Nick to talk about caring for her daughter Naomi who was born with a degenerative and life-limiting condition and about her death at the age of 7. Nicky describes how they explained Naomi’s death and cremation to her brother.As a fellow professional, Nicky tells Jenni how her experience of parenting Naomi has guided her to co-found the charity SLOW and how it has helped in the bereavement group work that they do together.Angus Lawson Memorial Trust - Surviving the loss of your world -'s Rainbow Fund -'s Wish - Bereavement Care - Compassionate Friends - UK - Jenni Thomas website with further resources -