FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JULY 30, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 21
coping with death
Helping children deal with grief
We sympathize when we see someone
experiencing grief caused by the death of
a loved one, but there is something especially
poignant about a child who grieves
over the loss of a parent, grandparent, sibling,
or even a beloved pet.
When children experience the death
of a loved one they grieve just as adults
do, but they may not be able to verbalize
To compound this, many adults may
not feel comfortable dealing with children’s
sadness, especially when grieving
Th ey don’t know how to start the conversation,
they don’t know what to say,
and, especially, they are fearful of saying
the wrong things.
So what can you do? Th ere are many
wonderful books that can help. For example,
in “Helping Children Grieve,” Th eresa
Huntley includes some basic suggestions
excerpted here that will help adults who
want to console a grieving child:
• Be aware of personal feelings. When
we are in touch with our own feelings
(sadness, loss, regret), we will be better
able to help bereaved children deal
• Recognize that each child’s level of
understanding is diff erent. Provide the
children with information and responses
appropriate for their age level.
• Recognize that each child will grieve differently.
• Encourage questions.
• Encourage the expression of feelings.
Let children know that it is okay to show
• Encourage participation in events following
the death. Tell the children about
the events that will be taking place (i.e.,
wake, funeral, burial). Give the children
permission to choose the extent of their
• Help a child to commemorate the life of
• Try to maintain a sense of normalcy. To
restore some semblance of security, try
to follow the children’s normal routine
as closely as possible.
Also, the popular television show
“Sesame Street” has many wonderful
resources to help connect with a child
who is mourning.
Children generally grieve in diff erent
ways than adults. As family and caregivers,
we can recognize this and guide them
with love through a diffi cult time. Ask
your family funeral director for names
of local bereavement counselors who can
Courtesy of NYS Funeral
Coping Wi th D eat h spons o re d by :
Mar t in A . G l eas on Fune ral home L . L . C . : Th e P re f e r red Choi c e