Helping children understand what happens when we die

20th November 2020#funerals
Helping children understand what happens when we die

Sarah Wickham

Marketing Coordinator/Landowner

We recently heard about a very special book on Woman’s Hour which helps families to talk about death in an open way with children. ‘The Fox: A Circle of Life Story’, written by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Daniel Egnéus, helps to answer a really big question that many children will ask at some point, ’what happens when we die?’

​The book is not linked to religion or after death beliefs but instead explains the concept of death itself, – “Fox: A Circle of Life Story answers the big scientific question: What happens when we die?” – Bloomsbury.

While we were listening to Isabel on women’s hour we really liked that she spoke about the fact that death is a part of life. It’s something we all have to face at some point in our lives and often children will ask about death and why it happens. This book is a really nice way for children to, as Isabel said, “make sense of the situation.” It encourages children to ask questions and not to be afraid to talk about death.

After hearing her talk about how being open about death, including visiting the woodland burial ground she chose for her mum, has allowed her children to talk openly we felt this was something we wanted to share. This is because many of our natural burial grounds have been family ventures and our children have learnt that death is a natural process and are able to talk openly about it. It is wonderful that there is a way families can sit down and explain this with the help of Isabel’s book because it is not always an easy subject to discuss.

​In the frost-covered forest of early spring, fox is on a mission to find food for her three cubs. As they grow, she teaches them how to survive in the wild. Until one day, fox dies. Her body goes back to earth and grass and air, nourishing the world around her and bringing the forest to life. Death is not just an end, it’s also a beginning.

You can find out more or purchase a copy of ‘Fox: A Circle of Life Story’ by Isabel Thomas.

You can hear the clip of Isabel talking about ‘Fox: A Circle of Life Story’ on BBC Women’s Hour here.

We would like to thank Isabel Thomas ( and Bloomsbury (Twitter: @KidsBloomsbury & Instagram: @bloomsburychildrens) ​for allowing us to share this with you and for providing us we these wonderful images for our blog.