Children Grieve Too. Are you aware that research reports that 1 in 20 children will lose a parent by the time they graduate? This does not include siblings, grandparents and other loved ones.
Tomorrow, November 17th, is Children’s Grief Awareness Day. The path of grief is difficult, especially in the life of a child. AWARENESS is the first step in reaching out in support of a child after a death loss. A child’s healing requires listening and love from supportive adults in and throughout their grief journey.
Children need help in navigating feelings including sadness, loneliness, fear and isolation. These feelings can be more intense than adults may realize. Feelings can stir in the hearts and body of a child.
You’ve heard it said “if a child is old enough to love, he is old enough to grieve”.
What do grieving children need? Children need to be able to express authentic grief feelings and mourn the death of their loved one. They need a place to be open with their grief and not be invisible. The WARM Place is a community that understands the ways in which children grieve, the importance of offering support and granting children the freedom to express their feelings. We want children and families to know it’s okay to grieve, you are not alone.
Tomorrow in honor of Children’s Grief Awareness Day we encourage you to help by raising awareness for children that are grieving the death of a loved one. Wear blue tomorrow and tell people why. Take a photo “Holding on to Hope” (HOPE the Butterfly was created to spread this message of hope to grieving children across the world) and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtags #CGADHope and #TheWARMPlace. Most importantly, if you know a family that is grieving give them a call and check in.
The following are just some of the responses given when children in our groups were asked “What do you want people to know about Grief?”
Isabella “it hurts”
Mason “it’s okay to be sad”
Lib “let it take its time, to work on it”
Ian “grief can be hard on us, very hard, it is okay to talk to trusted people
Max “the feeling of loss” “it has its ups and downs…like an elevator”
Raniyah “it can make you crazy, break you down, and make you happy, it’s a roller-coaster”
Kaitlyn “don’t ask me to “get over it” “I can’t”
Beth “might be awhile, but might not go away”
Kam “grief never goes away, you’ll always get sad, that feeling doesn’t go away, you’ll sometimes feel mad, you’ll have to talk about it.”
Livia “certain times in life, when you get hit really hard with the feeling you no longer have your loved one, it is very devastating at times.”
Will “I need someone to listen”
Emily “don’t give up on me”
We hope you will participate in Children’s Grief Awareness Day tomorrow even if it is just sharing this post and let children who have experienced the death of a loved one know they are not alone, they are heard.
Gina Brown, M.S., LPC