Mosaic are a child bereavement charity based in Dorset. We offer support children and young people who have lost a loved one through any cause of death.
We are a chid focused charity that supports young people and their families by providing:
Click to open our Mosaic General Information Leaflet
When someone special dies
When someone close to you dies, you may have all sorts of confusing feelings and some of these feelings may be quite strong.
Sometimes people die because they have been ill for a long time, but sometimes people die very suddenly. This can make us feel very sad and angry.
We will never forget someone special when they have died and it is really important to remember them, even if it is hard.
It can be difficult to talk about the person who has died - it can make you feel sad. Grownups find it hard too but keeping your feelings inside you can make you feel very angry. This is a difficult time for everyone.
Sometimes we worry about the person who has died and feel guilty and that it is our fault. These feelings are quite normal but difficult to understand. Try to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Remember it is not your fault the person has died.
There are lots of ways to help us remember someone who has died. Below are some suggestions but you may have some of your own:
- Make a memory box with items and photos to remind you of your special person.
- Make a memory book of letters, cards, photos and pictures.
- Listen to the person’s favourite music or watch their favourite film.
- Talk to other people about their memories of your special person.
- Visit their favourite places, the beach, the park etc.
What Mosaic can do to help?
Mosaic is here to help young people like you who have experienced the death of someone special. All the people who work for Mosaic have had special training to help them to help you understand how you are feeling.
We usually visit you in your home or at school, wherever you feel the most comfortable. We will tell you about how we can help and find out about how you are feeling.
You may just want some information or to talk to someone on the telephone.
Children and young people tell us that they often feel lonely and isolated and that it is really helpful to meet others who have had similar experiences. In order to do this we organise Residential Weekends where you can have fun, laugh, cry and make friends.
Who can come to a residential weekend?
Children and young people aged between 5 and 18yrs who have had individual support from Mosaic because someone close to them has died.
What happens at the weekend?
The weekend is filled with activities. Everyone is in small groups with others of their own age. We talk about your special person, exploring some of the feelings you may have and we have fun activities like archery and teambuilding games. It is good fun and everyone enjoys meeting others.
Children and Young People who have been to the weekend have said:
“I enjoyed the archery and talking about my mum, the food was good too”
“This weekend has been great for all of us. It’s taught us different skills to help with our emotions. We’ve learnt about anger and what to do with it, so we don’t hurt ourselves and others. We are all leaving today feeling a lot better and with a lot more friends who understand what we are going through”
“I enjoyed the candles, it was good remembering my dad and meeting other children who have had their dad die”
How much does it cost?
The weekend is free for all children and young people who have had individual support from Mosaic.
Click to open our Teenagers Leaflet
When a loved one dies it is normal to experience a range of overwhelming and sometimes confusing emotions.
You may find it difficult to cope with the everyday practical and emotional needs of your children alongside dealing with traumatic events surrounding the death and changes in your circumstances.
During the first few weeks there may be many people around you but after the funeral has taken place and everyone has returned to their own lives you may feel alone and isolated.
Although most people will try to be helpful and offer well-intentioned advice this can sometimes create even more confusion and make you feel as though no-one really understands your situation. However if you may be fortunate enough to have a close family/friend support network then do ask for their help as they will often be all too pleased to feel useful in some way.
Remember you need to look after yourself and involving another adult can help share the load.
When talking to your child be honest about what has happened, using words they can understand. It is important to let them know that they are still loved and very special and that you have time to listen to their fears and worries.
It is all right to cry with your child.
Try to use clear and simple words when talking to your child as they can often misinterpret the language we use. For example if you say ‘mummy fell asleep and did not wake up’, then a child may be afraid of going to sleep, or ‘we lost your granny’ as children could then fear becoming lost while out shopping etc.
It is important to let the school know what has happened as they can often be a great source of support for your child once they know and understand the impact of grief in children.
Children may find it difficult to concentrate on their school-work and you may notice a change in their behaviour. These responses are normal and with appropriate support a child can begin to understand their feelings and rebuild their life again with your help.
Try to keep boundaries and routine as much as possible, this will help your child to understand that their daily life will continue.
Some children may become withdrawn while others may become angry or sad. All these are normal reactions. Children at different stages of development have different understandings of what death means and why people have to die.
Some questions children ask are:
Was it my fault?
Will you die? (to the remaining parent)
Will it happen to me?
Click to open our Parents and Guardians Leaflet
Our weekend begins with our volunteers and a van full of resources arriving at Leeson House near Swanage ready for the weekend ahead.
The first job is to unload the van and start making beds for children and adults!
After preparing the rooms and going through the programme for the weekend, dinner is ready and then time for a final check and a relaxing evening before trying to get a good nights sleep!
We usually get an early start on Saturday morning and wait for the children to arrive. After 'goodbyes' to their parents and carers, the childen are given a Mosaic sweater and beautiful handmade quilt before being taken to their bedrooms to drop their bags and choose their beds.
Introductions done, the children start their teambuilding acitivites - archery, obstacle course, craftmaking and games.
By lunchtime, new friendships are made and after lunch each group spends time talking about the person they have come to remember and what happened. It is then time for more fun activities like football and 'hoola hooping'.
After dinner we hold our candle ceremony where everyone lights a candle and remembers their loved one. This is an emotional part of the weekend but children often tell us it is the most special part.
‘It is the first time I have cried since my dad died – it felt really good’
(15yr old boy after the candle ceremony, dad died 2 years ago)
The children and volunteers then take part in night orienteering before hot chocolate and bed.
Parachute games or aerobics kick off Sunday morning, followed by work on anger and feelings. After more fun activities and lunch, it's time for parents and carers to return and watch short presentations by the groups about their weekend.
During the weekend, the parents also meet on a separate site and talk about their concerns for their children, understand some behaviours are a normal reaction to the death of a loved one and get the chance to make new friends and share their experiences.
Every child we work with is invited to the weekend. Each weekend is funded by donations, fundraising and grants.
If you would like to find our more about volunteering or making a donation, please contact us.
Our Early Bereavement Intervention (EBI) is a recent addition to our service which offers support to individuals when a death has only very recently occurred. We receive a large number of enquiries in the very early stages of grief from parents and carers wanting advice on how to tell the children, advice for attending funerals and understanding which behaviours are normal after a death.
At this early stage, it is too soon for formal counselling, as there is a natural grief process that children must go through. Our EBI support includes telephone support for parents, carers and schools alongside up to 3 visits to the family. The aim of these visits is to normalise the feelings surrounding the grief process and to offer advice to parents and carers for how they can best support their children at a really difficult time.
Mosaic offers advice, information and therapy for families affected by terminal illness.
The shock of a life limiting illness will affect all family members.
Pre-bereavement therapy can be tailored to meet each family’s needs and may include:
• Memory work
• Helping families to explain the illness to children using age appropriate resources
• Planning and preparation around the death
• Emotional support for the family around child/young person’s needs.