When Someone in your Family Dies ...
Following a death, children may experience powerful and unfamiliar emotions. They may not be able to articulate these, and this may create a feeling of isolation or separateness.
Part of the normal process of grief for children may include: demanding more involvement from adults, wishing for the deceased's return and feeling anxious when a family member is late or away. Regressive behaviour such as loss of bowel or bladder control and temper tantrums are common. Poor schoolwork and attendance, changes in sleeping and eating patterns and fears of illness may also occur. Bereaved children have a strong need to know that their world will be maintained, and that their needs will be taken care of by a supportive adult.
Unfortunately, their usual supports may have crumbled, as all family members are grieving.
THESE ARE ALL NORMAL EXPRESSIONS OF GRIEF. CHILDREN NEED TO KNOW THEY ARE NOT ALONE.
Children need to know that their feelings are normal. They need to find acceptance from others as they give voice to their uncomfortable thoughts. Valuable insights are gained from identifying with their peers. Because bereaved children often worry about their remaining family, they may hide their feelings to protect themselves and others. Groups provide an opportunity for questions to be answered and fears to be expressed in a situation where they will not cause pain to family members.
Unresolved grief can sometimes be a sources of problems. Bereaved Families of Ontario - York Region can help children progress through the normal process of grieving, so that they can gradually recover, heal and return to the tasks of healthy development. Children work to put the pieces back together and face the future, knowing that death is a part of life.
How You Can Help
Books for Kids
Books for Adults
17070 Yonge Street, Suite 203, Newmarket ON L3Y 8Z4
905-898-6265 · 1-800-969-6904 · (fax) 905-898-5870