"My wee boy is back" - Thorin's story

Ten year old Thorin and his mum, Diana, launch our Christmas Appeal by sharing the difference Cruse Scotland made to their lives thanks to the support from Children and Young Person Bereavement specialist, Annamarie.

November 27, 2023

This Christmas we’re asking you to help children in Scotland whose lives have been shattered by the death of someone close.

Your donation will help young people like 10 year old Thorin who received support from Cruse Scotland, after the sudden and unexpected death of his Dad.

Thorin and his mum Diana share their experience.


“When his Dad died, Thorin didn’t know how to feel, he was experiencing lots of emotions all at once. He blamed himself for lots of things and thought he had contributed to his Dad’s death. He started worrying about everything, he was particularly concerned that I would die too, and he would end up with no parents and be all alone. As a parent, it was heartbreaking to see my son experience this and I felt so helpless witnessing him struggle and not knowing how to help him.”

“Having to tell Thorin that his dad had died was the hardest thing for me to say, and the hardest thing for Thorin to hear. He had so many questions that I didn’t have answers to. It was horrible watching him become so introverted and change so much in such a short time. He just became stuck and seemed unable to process what had happened.”

“A good friend suggested I reach out to Cruse Scotland. I made contact almost immediately to seek advice on how I could explain to Thorin what had happened. The advice I got was amazing, very clear and it just made sense at a time that was so confusing. The helpline advisor told me about Cruse Scotland’s specialist support for children and young people, as well as their support for adults, and she helped me take forward a referral for both Thorin and I.”   

“We were matched with a volunteer called Annamarie and it was such a huge relief to speak with her. She talked with me initially to get more background and to hear how much, and in what ways, that Thorin had been impacted by his grief. She was so nice and very skilled, I felt so confident in her ability to help.”

“Due to our location, our sessions were held online. Thorin and Annamarie seemed to click straight away and I could tell Thorin was glad to have someone to talk to. He received  weekly sessions for an hour for around three months in total, but the changes in how he managed his grief were obvious almost straight away. What was a relief to observe was Thorin, started to enjoy himself again without feeling guilt or shame, and beginning to focus on the happy memories instead of just the sad ones.”   

“Annamarie was there to offer me support too, we had our own sessions at specific points to discuss Thorin’s emotions and the impact his grief had on his everyday life. The death of our family pet roused lots of emotions in Thorin and it became clear that the coping strategies he had learnt in relation to his Dad’s death, were useful in this scenario too.”

“This support made a huge positive impact on our family; Annamarie’s personality, her ability to listen and her clearly specialist training have been invaluable. Thank you so much! I simply cannot believe this service from Cruse Scotland is FREE as I simply couldn’t have afforded this type of help for Thorin myself.”

“I cannot thank you enough Cruse Scotland - my wee boy is back!”


“When my dad died suddenly I felt so sad and scared, and I became confused and angry. Speaking with Annamarie at Cruse Scotland really helped me. When we were playing Uno or building Lego together I found it easier to tell her how I was feeling.”

“Annamarie helped me realise I can still be happy even though I feel sad sometimes. It’s ok to feel lots of things at the same time and not feel guilty about having fun.”

“She really helped me and I never expected it to be so good and helpful. She taught me how to feel my emotions so I can enjoy my life again.”

“I would like to say to Annamarie a huge thank you very much and hopefully you have a very good Christmas, you deserve the best!”

Demand for our services has increased and we desperately need to train more specialists – like Annamarie - to provide our bereavement support to children and young people.

Unless we can build more resource to cope with the demand, the likelihood is we ultimately have to turn people in need like Diana and Thorin away – please help to ensure that does not happen.

No matter the amount you can afford to give, your donation will offer hope and vital support to many grieving families.

To read more of our family stories, tips to support grieving children over the festive period, and more, visit our Christmas Appeal page.

"My wee boy is back" - Thorin's story