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Beatrice

Living with grief – a young girl’s experience of loss

9 year old Beatrice talks about losing her little sister, Rosie, and how she found help from Rainbow Trust.

Rachel has helped me understand my emotions and realise that I am going to have all sorts of feelings about Rosie and all of them are ok. Some days I will be sad and other days I will be happy. It's ok to think of Rosie and laugh, because she was a fun little sister.

Beatrice lost Rosie to cancer in December 2019, just before the pandemic. BBC Children in Need fund the role of Rachel, a Family Support Worker at Rainbow Trust. Rachel supported Beatrice through her sister’s illness and continued throughout lockdown.

We caught up with Beatrice, who appeared in last year’s BBC Children in Need documentary, Life in Lockdown. You can still watch it here.

What have you been doing since you talked to Children in Need?

Lots has been happening. I’ve changed schools, there were too many Rosie memories at my old school, to the point of me not wanting to talk to anyone or join in. I now go to the school all the other kids on my street go to and it’s much more fun.

In lockdown I’ve been playing online games with my friend and her sister. It’s my favourite part of the week, we facetime so it feels like we are in the room together. We have been friends since we were two years old, we used to play together at playgroup. They live down south, where we used to live and I can’t wait to see them again soon.

Mummy, Daddy and me have been taking Billy (my dog) for lots of long walks and we have discovered lots of new trails and walks across the Moors near our house. I love walking Billy.

It snowed a lot in winter, up here on the Moors. I went sledging every single day for two weeks and two days.

When lockdown eased, we got to go and see Gran and Grandpa and Nanna and Grandad. We had such a good hug. They came to stay and I showed them all the new places we had found to walk Billy. They really liked my favourite waterfall.

bea and rosie in school uniform
Rosie and Beatrice
Have you been talking to Family Support Worker Rachel from Rainbow Trust and if so, what have you been talking about?

Since the film Rachel has still been online. She has had to isolate for the whole of lockdown so I talk to her on Facetime and we have catchups on what we have been doing in the week. I tell her my secrets sometimes and she keeps them safe for me.

The best day was when Daddy surprised me and Rachel was at the gate. She’s had both vaccinations, so I could see her again and we walked round to the park. I can’t give her a hug yet, but it’s going to be a good one.

How do you feel now about Rosie?

I miss her a lot. I was given a baby doll at the children’s hospital just after Rosie went to heaven and I like to cuddle it when I think of her. That’s why I take her up the hill now.

How has Rachel helped you through losing her?

Rachel has been around, just for me, since Rosie was sick. Rachel came to Rosie’s funeral in case I needed her and felt overwhelmed, when all the other grown-ups would have been sad. I did need her at one point and she took me outside to get some fresh air. Mummy thinks Rachel has been there for me, when perhaps Mummy and Daddy were too sad themselves and needed help, so I wasn’t alone.

We meet up once a week and I can talk about anything I like. Sometimes I talk about Rosie, sometimes I just show her what I have been doing at school. I am totally free to share how I am doing.

What difference has she made?

Rachel has helped me understand my feelings and helped me realise that I am going to have all sorts of feelings about Rosie and all of them are ok. Some days I will be sad and other days I will be happy. Its ok to think of Rosie and laugh, because she was a fun little sister. She will always be my sister, only she is in heaven.

She’s also helped me understand that Mummy and Daddy are going to be sad sometimes too and may need to take some time to make themselves feel better. It is ok for them to feel sad too.

Rachel has helped me make a memory box for Rosie and it’s one my special things.

What might your life have been like without Rachel to help you?

Without her I wouldn’t be able to understand my feelings. I think it would have been a bit lonely and rubbish not having her around.

What are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to the summer holidays and our camping trip to Devon. I love camping. We’re kayaking in the Lake District as well. I love being outside.

Can you think of any advice you would you give to other children who might have also lost a loved one?

My advice is if there is a day when you are ever feeling sad, just think of something you are looking forward to. It’s ok to be sad and you should let yourself cry if you need to. Talking about how you feel is a great way to make yourself feel better. Most of all, don’t keep your feelings to yourself, that will only make you feel worse. Talking about how you feel is a great way to make yourself feel better.

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