At any age, a bereavement is earth shattering.
For children, bereavement is a confusing and difficult time. It take’s a lot of time and gentle guidance to help children process their emotions after the loss of a loved one.
Two years ago my dear Auntie Pat passed away. Theo was too young to understand what had happened, Mia however was devastated.
She’d never known loss other than a pet fish, and she was very close to Pat. Two years on, she still weeps for her ‘Patty’ and often speaks of how she ‘went to sleep on a cloud’.
Over the last two years we have tried all sorts of methods to help Mia overcome her grief. We purchased books on grief such as Badger’s Parting Gifts and I named a star after Pat which was a great source of comfort.
We talk about Pat often, and her gravestone is just a short distance from our home, meaning we can visit often. Something Mia always enjoys. We have pictures of Pat cradling both of the children as newborns hung on the wall and Mia has her own photo which she keeps in her bedside drawer to look at when she feels she needs too.
I’ve been speaking to other bloggers about how they helped their child/children deal with bereavement and they’ve given me some more fantastic ideas which you may find useful.
Leandra Bramham from LaraBeeUK has a lovely idea for family occasions such as Christmas, she says ‘at Christmas we have memory ornaments on the tree, each year since the first year we lost The Hubs father, we have bought a bird Christmas decoration to hang on the tree, last Christmas we started this tradition for Grandpa, allowing T to choose what animal we should get, he chose a deer so from now on we’ll be looking for a deer too’.
Laura Dove from Five Little Doves suffered the most unimaginable loss, the loss of a child. Her second son found this time very confusing. She said ‘we lost our second son when my eldest was just two, and it was a very confusing time for him to see us consumed with grief, not to mention the absence of the brother he had expected to come home. We told him that Joseph had gone to live in the skies and that, although he could never come back, he would show us he was still there as the brightest star in the sky. At two, he completely accepted it and enjoyed searching for the stars at night with his telescope. I actually found that Lewis’s grief for his brother came later in life, when he reached an age where he understood what a huge loss we had suffered’.
And finally, Louise Williams from Pink Pear Bear said ‘when our dog died, the children were absolutely devastated. Really heartbroken. We wrote letters and drew pictures for him and had a little ceremony out in the garden when we lit them and watched the ashes float away. They said that they were floating up to join him on his cloud and it definitely comforted them to say their last goodbyes. We also made a photo album and they chose the pictures to print off and it’s kept where they can get it any time they like.
Has your child suffered a bereavement? Do you have any top tips you wish to share? Let me know below.
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