Tag - children and grief

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Life Lessons Learned From Loss
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What Is The Time Limit On Grief?
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Grief-Helping Kids Cope

Life Lessons Learned From Loss

  2014 was a year flanked on both ends by grief. Our family lost close family members in February and December. There was also the death of a pet in the middle (insignificant in comparison, but try telling that to a sobbing child who has only just recently had his first experience with losing a loved one). I’ve written about how death has affected our children. Insecurities, anxiety and fears have been addressed by talking about our feelings honestly, but age-appropriately. For the most part, the kids are coping and moving forward. Our daughter Avery, eight years old, but cognitively closer to age four, is still struggling with the loss of her Grandie. She talks about her daily. When she’s particularly sad, she makes an “I miss you” card to add to the collection whose intended recipient will never see. Avery dreams about her Grandie a lot and the mornings following those dreams are hard. She’ll cry and ask “why?” There’s really no good answer to that. So she’ll squeeze her eyes shut like her granddad taught her and say, “Grandie is in my heart.” And of course, it breaks my heart. Avery answered the phone last week (her new[…]

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What Is The Time Limit On Grief?

The minute you think you’ve come to terms with loss, grief comes back—quietly sneaking up on you as a fleeting pang, or slamming into you like a visceral punch that forces the breath from your lungs, making you gasp amid sobs. My friend Heather said the other day in reference to the loss of her son that, “Grief has no time limit.” She and her family have been through it. They’re still going through it. They will always be in it to some degree. There may indeed be five stages of grief, but there’s definitely no fixed schedule or order to them. My husband’s mom passed away last February. She was more a friend than a mother in law and the close bond she shared with my children was uncommon, I think. My son was ten when she died. She wasn’t sick—her death was unexpected and a shock for everyone. Of course my boy was devastated when she died, but after a month or so, the cloud lifted for him and he claimed he had made peace with it and that he was okay. He later admitted he felt guilty for not crying anymore. “We all grieve in our own[…]

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Grief-Helping Kids Cope

My husband’s mum was a vital part of our lives. There hasn’t been a day since she died that we don’t miss her terribly. As adults who’ve had years to develop coping skills, it’s still tough. So how can a child possibly deal with grief when they can’t begin to reconcile the devastation of loss and moreover, the finality of death? Our eleven year old son experienced anxiety resulting from the loss of his grandmother, so we sought help. Grief counseling has helped him begin to accept the death and has given him skills to cope with the fear of losing his parents and sister.   Avery, our seven year old, seems to be the most profoundly affected. She and her ‘Grandie’ had a special bond (one that my husband and I are convinced has continued in some other worldly way. It sounds odd, but the evidence we’ve seen is impossible to ignore). At first Avery believed her Grandie had gone to the dentist and would be coming back soon. We don’t know where this idea came from. Regardless, the first dental appointment I took the kids to afterwards was difficult to say the least. When it became evident that[…]

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