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The Only Cure for Grief is to Grieve.

Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve." Earl Grollman

Grief and loss are a part of life. We lose a dog, a cat, a friend moves away or a loved one passes away. How can we support our children when they deal with significant loss of a loved one and help them understand that it is a normal & healthy process? Read below for some tips:


1. Create a ritual

Saying goodbye is tough. Support your child with doing so by creating a little ritual that they can engage in to get the opportunity to say goodbye. Perhaps they want to draw some pictures of special memories with this pet/ person or maybe they can plant a special tree/ flower in the garden that can always remind them of this special pet or person. If your child is a teen, then writing a letter to the deceased person/pet could also be a helpful ritual.


2. Acknowledge the sadness and pain

We often want to lighten our children's (and our) pain by responding to their sadness or grief by saying "don't be sad" or "don't cry" but by doing so, we dismiss their pain and communicate that it is not okay to feel pain. Choose to say one of the following phrases instead: "It's okay to be sad" or "Do you want a hug?" or "I am here for you." These phrases communicate understanding and acceptance. They help your child understand that it is okay to feel sad.


3. Seek help if the grief persists

Everyone deals differently with grief and loss. Healing from a loss takes time. Give your child enough time to process and deal with the loss. If the sadness persists and influences their ability to perform daily tasks at home or school (completing homework, focusing in class, socialising with friends etc.) seek professional help. It might be that your child is struggling to process the grief and could benefit from additional support to move through the process of grief.


Reach out to me if you or your child might need some support with grief or loss.


Best wishes,

Megan




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