Helping Children with Grief and Loss
No matter your age, losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can go through. However, children face unique challenges in the grieving process. Not only have they probably had no experience with grief before, they may also have only an incomplete idea of what has even happened. While the team at Humphrey Funeral Home is most known for assisting with funeral arrangements in Toronto, our caring staff wants to help make the grieving process easier for your family by compiling the following ways you can help a child deal with grief and loss.
What Can I Do to Help a Grieving Child?
Every child is different but they typically only gain a real idea of death between the ages of five and ten. Before that they may simply think their loved one has gone away on a trip and will return one day. Children who are processing grief may not initially show much outward reaction at all. They may react by behaving more infantile, starting to suck their thumbs again, having problems sleeping, acting out to get attention or alternatively, attempting to be more polite and perfect.
Just as with adults, there’s no correct way for a child to grieve and no correct period of time it will take. We must do our best as adults to help our children learn to grieve in ways that don’t become self-destructive or excessively painful.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can help a grieving child in your life:
Don’t hide the death from the child
Though they may not always understand or participate in what’s going on, children are very perceptive. Hiding a death from a child won’t protect them but may end up making them feel more confused and excluded.
Listen to what he or she has to say
Between making funeral arrangements, arranging for family gatherings, and the regular demands of life, you may have trouble finding time to devote to your child. However, it’s important to take the time to explain clearly and simply to your child what is going on and listening to what they have to say. It’s important to support your child and provide a sense of comfort and security.
Express your own emotions reasonably
Our children pick up a lot from us. If we handle difficult situations poorly, our children might too. Articulating your own emotions clearly is important but remember not to be agitated with them. Setting a good example is important in difficult as well as good circumstances.
Include children in any funeral arrangements or ceremonies
If your family is choosing to have any funeral ceremonies, be sure to include your children in some way. Whether it’s simply having them help welcome out-of-town family, or having a role in any burial rites, giving them a task and making them feel included is helpful for their own grieving process.
Helping Toronto Families with Funeral Arrangements for More than 135 Years
For assistance with funeral arrangements in Toronto and surrounding areas, contact us at Humphrey Funeral Home. As a family-owned, full-service funeral home, we can help with all of your planning needs so you can focus on the things that matter most to you and your family. For more information, please feel free to contact us and our compassionate staff will be happy to help you in any way we can.