Funeral Home Resources and Topics
How to Console A Grieving Child After They’ve Lost A Parent or Grandparent
Be Sure to Listen
It can be hard for a child to vocalize their true emotions, given that many of them are still in elementary school and don’t have an entire vocabulary to fall back on. A child’s brain is also still developing, and sudden, shocking events such as a parent or a grandparent passing away could impact their physical and mental health. Wait for an appropriate moment in time to approach them and should they feel relaxed enough to talk to you, be there to listen. Hear what they have to say, judgment-free, and provide them with affection and reassurance to help them understand they’re not alone in feeling this way.
Show Them How to Be Strong
Loss doesn’t necessarily affect everyone at the same time; in fact, it can take days or weeks for an individual to process loss and truly begin to accept it. This means that at any given moment, someone can be affected by the void that there loved one has left, and this can be especially painful for the child or grandchild of a deceased loved one. This mental anguish can present a series of attitude and personality changes; a child that typically loves to play outside and hang out with friends may become more isolated and quieter following the death. As a parent/guardian, you need to understand your impact on your child’s emotions if they see you putting on a brave face and continuing with your duties, they may be inclined to follow your lead and find their inner strength.
Build A Memory Box
Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting. It’s important for your child to have access to family videos, photo albums and other important memory pieces (i.e. their favourite necklace/bracelet, hat etc.) that will help your child reminisce and smile. Keep this memory box available within reach for yourself and your child; you may not need to look in it every day but having it close and knowing you can access their photograph in a split second can aid the healing process.