Children and Grief
“All too often, children are the forgotten grievers…”
Mary Keane, RN, MA, OCN
Executive Director, Mary’s Place
Someone has said, “If children are old enough to love, they’re old enough to grieve.” It is after all, because we love someone, that we grieve for them when they’re no longer here.
Funeral directors are aware of this and take special care in showing sensitivity to children. There are many websites and organizations that specialize in helping children in grief and we will list just a few of them. As for the funeral home's role, most counselors agree that children should be allowed to choose if they want to attend the services and if they want to participate in some way, and that they need to be informed about what will happen and what to expect in order to make a good decision. Your funeral director can help in kindly explaining this to them, if you would like them to.
Most funeral homes have free booklets about talking to children about death that may be helpful to you. As mentioned above, there are also many helpful websites. Some of them are these:
- www.pbs.org/wnet/onourownterms/articles/children.html has good information about talking to children about death.
- www.childrensgrief.net has helpful information about helping children when a traumatic death is involved.
- www.compassionatefriends.org has information not only about the death of a child, but how children grieve the loss of another child.
Also many funeral homes have a children’s corner or room for use during visiting hours or services. It usually includes toys, books, games, and stuffed animals for their comfort and enjoyment.
If you would like additional information or have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to ask your funeral director or email us.
Liz Conrow, Bereavement Coordinator Golisano Children’s Hospital
Download GCH Bereaved Parent Meeting Info.
The websites above are listed for their easy accessibility. We do not endorse them or are associated with them in any way and are not responsible for their content.
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The death of someone we care about can be one of the most difficult experiences of life. Words seem inadequate to describe how painful the grief we feel can be.
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