Help With Childhood Grief
Explanation of Death
Children generally react well when people are open and honest with them about death.
Not talking about death suggests the subject is taboo. Simple and direct communication should include as much factual information as the child can understand and reassurance about their own safety (they may worry their surviving parent will also go away).
When talking to a child about death include basic and 'real' words, such as "cancer," "died," and "death" because phrases such as "he is sleeping" can be misunderstood. When a child asks a question make sure they understand the answer.
Planning Memorial Ceremonies
Children can and often should be involved in memorial ceremonies - including the planning - as they may help remember their loved ones but should not be compelled to. Children could be encouraged to be involved in those parts they feel comfortable with but a full explanation of what will happen should be explained to them in advance. During the services a familiar adult may want to care for the child so that the surviving parent can properly handle their own grieving.
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