Tag - explaining death to children

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Grief-Helping Kids Cope
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Goodbye
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Difficult Conversations With My Child – Part 2

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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Goodbye

Losing someone you love leaves a hole in your heart. When the loss is sudden and unexpected it seems more cruel and difficult to accept.  You go through the motions and make the necessary arrangements, comforting those around you and accepting comfort when you can. You hold your family close when they cry and when you think nobody will hear, you cry too. My husband lost his mother, my father-in-law lost his wife, my children lost their grandmother, I lost a friend. It’s hard to accept that she’s really gone. Our son was extremely close to his Grandie. He’s now struggling with the concept of mortality—hers, his and ours. Avery, our seven year old special girl, doesn’t understand. Not really. She knows Grandie has gone somewhere, but explaining death is damn difficult. She thinks her grandmother has gone to the dentist. We’re not sure where she got this idea. The other night I heard her ask, “Daddy, why you sad? You want your mum? It okay daddy, Grandie is at the dentist.” “You mean heaven?” he asked her. “Yes, the dentist at heaven,” she answered. She was clearly confused about the concept of heaven. Truthfully, even as an adult, I[…]

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Difficult Conversations With My Child – Part 2

Forget the babbling brook, I’m a rambling river. I’m not sure why I feel compelled to tell people everything. Maybe it’s the need to vent, to seek feedback, validation, advice, a laugh. Who knows? But if loose lips sink ships, I should really have my own personal Coast Guard.   I may over-share on a regular basis within my social network (and the occasional innocent bystander at the grocery check-out) but I am able to curtail my TMI tendencies when it comes to my kids.   Children hang on our every word. WHAT we say and HOW we say it—it’s our job to try to insulate our kids from worry, horror, despair, and unthinkable sadness.   We can’t completely shelter our children from the harsh realities of life. But if possible we can try to shield them from the really scary sh*t so they can feel safe and secure for as long as possible.    This is why I chose initially not to tell my son that Zack passed away.   The boys never met in person, but my son knew about Zack and his family. He knew Zack was Avery’s friend. He heard me speak about Zack’s parents. He knew[…]

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