How Do I Help a Child Grieve?

Every word is spot on. The only thing worse than losing Benny was watching Darcy lose Benny. We were blessed with amazing resources for Darcy right after he passed. We were so lucky to find Darcy’s therapist. There’s nothing like hearing that we have ‘a well adjusted child that is blossoming.’

At first Darcy was closed off emotionally. She wouldn’t talk aboit her brother, it made her too sad. She had started having awful night terrors again and began acting out and throwing tantrums. She didn’t know how to deal with her grief. Some 10 months later she and I are scrapbooking a ‘Benny Book.’ She sleeps with her ‘Benny Dog’ and we will start going through his room so that she can take some of his toys. She’s invited his memories back into her life. I’m so proud of my doodle bug!

Greet Grief

Dr. Donna Schuurman is the Executive Director of The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families in Portland, Oregon, and an internationally recognized authority on grief and bereaved children, teens, and families.

blog post - The Dougy Center

Attending the 5th Annual Grief Education Conference this week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I hear her speak on the topic:  “Fostering Resilience in the Aftermath of Community Trauma and Loss.”

She is a gifted speaker, sharing not only her professional stories of working around the world with children after unimaginable losses, but her personal stories as well.

I want to focus on one of the most important topics that she discussed, the “Needs of Grieving Children.” As she speaks I find myself questioning whether my interventions with my child were right after the death of his father.

  • Grieving children need good modeling – if you are crying, tell them why, say you are sad without trying to cover…

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