The loss of a loved one takes a toll on any family. Children, however, may approach the grief process a little bit differently. Their age, relationship to the loved one, and support they receive can all affect how a child will cope with loss. There are several things that you can do to help your child through grief and loss after the passing of a loved one. The team at Evans Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services discuss how here:
Breaking the news to a child that a death has occured is never easy. Using simple and direct words in a caring way will help the process go a lot smoother, allowing the child to understand as best as they can. After receiving the news, some children may cry, some may shut down, some will ask questions, and some may even express anger. All of these reactions are completely OK and normal, as no child will react to death the same. It is important to listen to how your child responds and offer them as much comfort or space that they may need. Encourage your children to express their emotions however they see fit. Talking through your own feelings may even help your child become more comfortable with sharing theirs. It is also important to make your child aware of any changes that they may experience now that a loved one has passed. For example, if a loved one used to help take care of your child, let them know that another family member will be doing the same from now on.
If you have funeral, memorial, or ritual services planned, allow your child to partake in those events. You may want to explain what will happen during those services beforehand to prepare them for what will happen and to help them gain a better understanding of the meaning behind each service. It may also be helpful to express to your child that after these services, people will generally feel better after taking time to come together and celebrate the life of the loved one who has passed.
In addition to joining in on the services, consider allowing your child to have a small role in those particular services. Whether it is reading a poem or choosing a song to be played, playing a small part in celebrating the life of your loved one may help children understand the unfamiliar and confusing emotions that can come with loss and grief at such a young age.
As the days and weeks approach after a loved one’s passing, it is important to continue to check up on how your child is coping. To further help with their grieving process, encourage your child to live through their happy memories they have made with their loved one; going through old photos, drawing pictures, and writing down stories can help evoke positive emotions and possibly take away from the sadness and grief they may still be experiencing.
Grief takes time, and it is extremely important to remind your child of that fact. Try not to dwell on their sad feelings for too long of a time. After listening and talking for a few minutes, try to activate more positive feelings by doing a different activity that they enjoy. If your child seems to be having a difficult time concentrating or sleeping, support groups and counseling are always options if you feel that they may be necessary. Overall, it is important to remind your child that the healing process after loss does not mean that you need to forget your loved ones, but to remember them, the memories you’ve shared, and the love that you have for them.
If your family has recently suffered a loss, do not hesitate to reach out to Evans Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services. Our team has the expertise to help you plan the perfect personal service for your loved one. Services such as funerals or memorials are great ways to help your child not only accept the passing of a loved one, but also allow them to celebrate their relationships and happy memories. To learn more about the services that Evans Funeral Chapel can provide, please visit our website or call one of our locations in Parkville, Monkton, or Forest Hill.