My deepest condolences for the loss of your husband... This must be an incredibly hard time for both the children and yourself...
My dad died when I was seven years old and I, like your daughter, had trouble going to sleep at night. I don't remember much about it but my mother has often told me of how she'd sit beside me and talk to me so I would go to sleep in my bed and how a bit later I'd get up, go to her bed, wake her up and wouldn't let her go back to sleep as I wanted to talk through the night.
I was also very angry. That I do remember very well; I can't tell you exactly who I was angry at or what, but everyone paid for it. I got into horrible fights at school with my classmates, hit other children and didn't get along with anyone for a while.
I can't tell you how it stopped either; but I can assure you that it did. Along the way at some point I started making friends again at school and very slowly I stopped getting into fights and being so mad. From what I've been told the sleeping thing went on for about a year (that's about as long as the aggressive behaviour and the being mad lasted too) and it was pretty much the same dance each night; I'd get up unable to sleep and want to talk and my mum did. She talked to me all night about my dad, the person he was, how much she loved him, death and love and life. One night about a year later (and I remember this vividly) when she decided that a good time had passed and was too exhausted to cope with my non-stop questions all night when I got up from bed and went to her again and asked her "why did dad die?" she replied "I don't know. I love him. I will always love him and so will you. And no one will ever forget him. But he is gone. And we are not. I am alive and I need rest to work and take care of you. And you are also alive and so you will go back to bed now because the living must not, cannot spend their whole lives with the dead".
As a child and as a teenager I thought this very harsh on my mother's part, after all I was a little kid who'd lost her father, but I see now that she was absolutely right and you know what? It worked. It really did. I went back to bed by myself that day and started sleeping through the night again. I never went to mum with such questions again. See, unbeknownst to me my mum had been going to a child psychiatrist to get advice on how to best deal with me and get some guidance and help on how to help me get through the other side of the grief and the sadness and he had apparently told her that children sometimes need to have the distinction between the living and those who are gone emphasized to them in no uncertain terms; that it helps them be less afraid and to separate themselves from the ones they lost, as well as to worry less about losing the only parent they have left; I know I was very worried about that for a while, that I could be left all alone if something happened to my mum and more importantly that my mum and dad weren't invincible like I thought parents were; that life ended like it began; it's all very hard for youngs kids to understand. I don't know if the psychiatrist was right in what he said but certainly abstract things like death and disease and accidents, things one can't touch or see or smell are very hard for young kids to grasp.
I believe the most helpful thing anyone did for me during that time, was give me time, all the time I asked for and then some to deal with and process his loss. I can't even imagine the amounts of patience and love this requires especially when you have lost your partner too and not just your children's father and so you too are grieving but it was incredibly helpful and also a constant im my mind. I could cry, shout, be a bit out of control and mad at the world and I wasn't told off for anything I did nor was it discussed; it was like it didn't happen, like a grace period of sorts. Whatever happened at school or whatever was going on in my head I always, always went home to an incredibly patient, loving, emotionally stable parent (of course I had no idea how stable that parent really was and how hard my dad's loss had hit her, she just didn't allow it to show that much in front of me)
I think both you and the kids need time, lots of it, to come to terms with this incredible, sudden and very painful loss in your lives but of course that's easier said than done...
It might be a good idea if you are worried about your daughter, to talk to a child psychologist or psychiatrist and get some guidance on how best to help her... But she will get through this; I promise you she will...
Sending all of you loads and loads of strengthening hugs Elle and I am so very sorry for your loss :grouphug2::grhug: