S3E6 -How to help children cope with the loss of a loved one

Author Posted On 24 February 2024

Podcast Transcript

Hello.., dear listeners, welcome back to another episode of "Grief Untangled." Untangling the threads of grief, healing, and hope. I'm your host Coach DD, your companion on this journey through the intricacies of emotions. Today, we're diving into something really important – how children feel when someone in their family passes away. It's not easy, and we often don't realize how complicated their feelings can be. So, let's explore this together and learn how we can help them.

Let’s start with how kids feel when they experience the loss of someone special. It's not just straightforward sadness; their emotions can be all over the place. 

Like grown-ups, kids also have a mix of emotions when they're sad. In their world, missing someone can be really hard, and not having that lovable person around can make everything seem different. Let’s try to explore how they feel and what strategies we can bring in to support them in their grief journey.

In the language of little hearts, children often express their grief through various avenues. From the youngest to the oldest, their unique expressions become whispers of love and loss. Our first strategy is to open the doors of communication wide – creating a safe space for them to share their feelings, memories, and questions about their loved ones.

Sometimes, the symphony of grief plays silently through behaviours. Our next strategy involves maintaining routines and providing consistency. Children find stability in the familiar,  amidst the waves of emotions. It's the steadiness of routines that can anchor their tender hearts during the storm of grief.

Imagine grief as an expressive play, where creativity becomes a healing force. Encouraging children to express themselves through art, drawing, or music is our third strategy. These creative outlets become bridges connecting their hearts to healing, allowing emotions to find a canvas for expression.

The canvas extends to the school environment. Our strategy here involves providing age-appropriate resources, books, or support groups. Schools become comforting spaces where children can feel understood and connected, forming a supportive network during their grief journey.

Grief often whispers through the body, manifesting in physical symptoms. Our fifth strategy is to listen and validate these whispers. Acknowledge the language their bodies speak and seek professional help if needed. It's in understanding these physical expressions that we offer a holistic approach to support.

 Enter the dance of regression, where children may revert to earlier behaviours, finding comfort in habits from a time when the world felt simpler. Strategy six is to be patient and understanding. Provide a gentle hand, guiding them through the dance with love and reassurance. Regression becomes a way for them to find comfort in familiarity during their grieving process.

Riding the emotional rollercoaster calls for our seventh strategy – validating and normalizing feelings. Let them know it's okay to experience a range of emotions. Together, we embrace the peaks and valleys of this emotional journey, creating a safe space for them to express their grief.

Lastly, we face the shadows of avoidance. Our eighth strategy involves creating memorials or participating in rituals to remember the loved one. This fosters connection and continuity, guiding them through the delicate balance of remembering and moving forward.

Thank you for joining us on this exploration of how children express and navigate grief on "Grief Untangled." May these strategies become gentle guides as we support the tender hearts of grieving children. Until next time, be well and take care of those little hearts around you.

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