Children And Grief

July 31, 2021

Quote of the Week

"To live in hearts we leave behind - is not to die." Thomas Campbell

Helping Children Cope With A Parent's Death

"One in 29 children aged five to 16 has experienced the death of a parent or sibling. There will be children suffering from bereavement in every school in the UK. And it is often in school that problematic behaviour is first noticed in children who are not coping. Gilbert wants to see proper training in schools, so staff can deal sensitively with bereaved children, because the deeper work of grieving is not in the weeks surrounding the funeral, but in the months and years that follow.

She says: "People are quite good at making space at the beginning, when the world stops and the chicken soup arrives. What we are concerned with is working against the myth that older children are fine – because it's pain you can't see." She wants to make sure children are given the space "to grieve over time, a chance to process it. To absorb the reality of it at a deep level." She is working to strike the balance between holding on to the loved parent or sibling, but also allowing children to move on and re-discover fun. "We can get children to a better place," she says." [read more]

Reading Corner

Title: The Memory Box: A Book About Grief

By: Joanna Rowland

Ages: 4-8

"I'm scared I'll forget you..."

From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one, to help in the grieving process. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box will help children and adults talk about this very difficult topic together. The unique point of view allows the reader to imagine the loss of any they have loved - a friend, family member, or even a pet. A parent guide in the back includes information on helping children manage the complex and difficult emotions they feel when they lose someone they love, as well as suggestions on how to create their own memory box. - Publishers

Be the Change

Grief comes in many forms - loss of a friendship; hurt from being bullied; separation from a loved one (not necessarily via death). Experiencing death of a loved one may be one aspect of it too. As the article suggests, it supports greatly if children are supported in the process of grieving right from a young age. Today, take some time, to gently seed thoughts and conversations on grief with your children. Share stories of your moments of grief and how you overcame them with love.