No one wants to watch their children suffer from grief and loss. Often this is at the same time as adults are also suffering from grief and themselves unsure of how to process it.
Of course, children are different in the way that they process and understand death. This also changes depending on their age, meaning that there is no right way to help children that cover as a blanket across all ages, it is important to understand what their understanding is and how to help at that particular level.
Understanding how children and teens view death
Everything begins with communication. It is important, to be honest with children about what is happening. Consider their age as to the level of detail, however, it is important that you use clear, simple language to communicate to them what death means. This builds a foundation to allow children to ask questions and communicate back to you about how they’re feeling.
Listen and Comfort
Children will have questions, observations and concerns that will arise as they go through the process of grief. Show them that you are listening, encourage them to ask questions and express their feelings. Acknowledge their feelings and empathise with what they are experiencing.
Prepare Them for the Next Steps
Preparation is a great comforter. The loss of a loved one may impact you and your children in varying degrees but be sure to prepare them for what is to come. Perhaps you used to visit this person each weekend, warn your child that these visits will no longer happen and what you may do instead. If you may have to move or make any other changes to their routine, give them warning so that they are prepared for the changes to come.
Routine is important in the lives of children. After you have prepared them for what is to come, the next step is to create a stable routine again. It is likely that the death of a loved one can throw life off the rails for a time but re-establishing routine where children know what they can expect will help them to feel comfortable and able to begin to settle into things again.
Encourage Them to Remember
Grief and dealing with loss is an ongoing process. Encouraging children to remember passed loved ones is as important immediately after as it is in the years to come. Think of ways that you can honour your passed loved ones, tell stories of them and encourage your children to talk about them.
Since its inception in 1999 by John and Mary Hetherington, Hetherington Funerals has grown to become a successful funeral service provider in Western Australia. Their hard earned virtuous reputation is due to the sensitive and courteous client service it provides all of its valued clients.
Whether you need to plan a funeral now or wish to think about the future, Hetherington Funerals are here. For more information or advice please contact us on (08) 9459 2846, submit an enquiry on our contact page or look at our services here.