Grief & Loss in Children
“A time to weep, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to get and a time to lose;” Ecclesiastes 3:4,6
Grief is defined as an intense mental suffering or distress over affliction; a sharp hurting sorrow. That sorrow can be compounded in a parent as they cope with watching their child experience the suffering and affliction of a loss. Many parents feel helpless in removing the child’s pain.
Parents can greatly support a grieving child by helping them navigate the journey of grief. God has designed within all of us a process for the body, mind, and soul to handle the distress and impact of a loss.
The grieving process is a natural reaction of strong feelings of intense emotions and part of healing is learning how to live with a loss. Children need to experience their grief in order to make sense of the sorrowful events. Any child old enough to laugh and to experience pleasure, can also experience grief and trauma. Grief, in the eyes of a child, is what they experience; not what they know.
For Further Information:
HealthKids Information for parents, kids and teens on grief and loss [KidsHealth.org]
The Dougy Center Information and resources for helping children and teens through grief [Dougy.org]
Coping with Grief and Loss Understanding the grieving process. [HelpGuide.org]
Helping Your Hurting Teen: This is a brief and helpful book for parents of teens. It covers four main topics: 1) The Turbulent Teen Years, 2) Helping Teens Handle Loss, 3) Dealing with Anger and Depression, and 4) Interacting with Your Teen.
Someone I Love Died: This is a helpful book for an adult to work through with a child (Age 3-9) who has experienced a death of someone they love.