Helping a Child Mourn

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013 in Blog, Comfort, Grief Relief, Ministry

“Your Mommy died this morning.”  Those were the hardest words I had ever had to say to my kids.  When they began to sob I pulled the 11year old to my lap and just hugged him.  The rest of the day found me having a one to one private talk/cry with each of my four children about their Mom’s death.  I knew it was important that they be given permission to mourn.  One way I did that was to cry in front of and with them.

Helping a child mourn can be an uncertain thing to do.  Variables include the age of the child, the relationship they had with their loss, and how that child sees the adults in their life deal with loss.  One big mistake is to avoid the subject of their loss with some idea that silence brings healing.  It does not.  Kids don’t always know how to think about hard things or how to respond.  Adults play a key part of helping them mourn well.  One cannot wait for the child to open up and talk about it.  Often, a caring prompt to talk by a trusted adult breaks the silent barrier between hurt and healing.

Your concern for a grieving child can be converted to help with loving encounters where the child is free to respond to their loss.  Often, someone not so close to the situation is more successful helping a child than loved ones.  Thanks for being open to understanding this subject more with intent to help.

With Victory in View;

David Knapp

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