38 The Courier sun • coping with death • september 3, 2015 for breaking news visit www.couriersun.com coping with death s Helping children to deal with grief By Rana Huber especially poignant about a child who grieves over the loss of a parent, grandparent, We sympathize when we see someone sibling, or even a beloved pet. experiencing grief caused by the death of a loved one, but there is something When children experience the death of a loved one, they grieve just as adults do, but they may not be able to verbalize their sorrow. To compound this, many adults may not feel comfortable dealing with children’s sadness, especially when grieving themselves. They 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? There are many wonderful books that can help. For example, in Helping Children Grieve, Theresa 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 with theirs. Recognize that each child’s level of understanding is different. 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 their emotions. 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 participation. Help a child to commemorate the life of the deceased. 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. Visit their website for details: www.sesamestreet. org/parents/topicsandactivities/topics/ grief. Children generally grieve in different ways than adults. As family and caregivers, we can recognize this and guide them with love through a difficult time. Ask your family funeral director for names of local bereavement counselors who can help. Papavero Funeral Home Family Owned and Operated for 5 Generations • Newly Renovated Facilities on One Level • Handicap Accessible – Ample Parking • In-Chapel DVD Video Tributes with Plasma Displays • Cremation and Direct Burial Services • Guidance with Pre-Planned Funeral Arrangements • 24-Hour a day Personal Service • Resource Center with Information about Coping with Grief and Explaining Death to Children Joseph B. Papavero Kevin Papavero Joseph A. Papavero Bart Papavero 72-27 Grand Avenue Maspeth, New York 11378 Tel: (718)651-3535 | Fax: (718)651-7312 www.papaverofuneralhome.com PAPAVERO FUNERAL HOME Papavero Funeral Home has been serving the Maspeth community, from our family to your family, providing dedicated funeral service for over 5 generations. The Papavero Family understands the importance of selecting a funeral service that will serve as a memorable tribute to the life of a loved one. It is our promise to offer our advice, guidance and help through the arrangement process in selecting and planning the funeral service that best meets your family’s needs. Feel free to give us a call at (718) 651-3535 for more information on pre-planning and other options.
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