Monday, January 26, 2015

Grief Encourage Lines of Communication

Students who have lost a loved one often try to protect the other members of their family from the painful questions they think will be too upsetting to ask.  All the children I have worked with eventually state their biggest fear is "other people dying too."  They need the reassurance of the surviving family members to say "While everyone does die, I plan to take good care of myself and be here for a very long time."  If it is a parent that has died they need to know "If something were to happen to me, there will always be someone to take care of you."  I have never worked with a child who wants to start this conversation.  I frequently have asked the parent to deliberately bring it up.  All children worry about death at sometime, but those who are grieving may be worrying about it a lot. When I say, "Have you asked mom/dad what would happen or told them you have this worry?" they always say "No, it would make them too sad."  I always recommend to parents to find time to talk about the child's feelings and worries even knowing they probably won't share everything.  Parents can say "If I was your age I'd be wondering what would happen to me if ..." or "I notice you seem much more scared at night, I am wondering what I can do to make you feel safer" For more good ideas check out

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