Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Provide Proper Comfort to Children after a Loved One Passes On

The passing of a loved one may be the first time that your child realizes that people do not live forever. A loved one’s death may stir up strong emotions in your child. While you are processing your own grief, you may also be able to comfort your child with these four tips.

Offer a Creative Outlet

Although adults often grieve internally, children are not as developed in their thinking to do this. A creative outlet may help a child who has lost a loved one. Even a simple activity such as coloring or painting with watercolors may help your child to release some of the emotions that have built up. If your child has some energy to let loose, consider painting in the Jackson Pollack style.

Share Happy Stories Together

It is okay to grieve together with your child. Sharing happy stories and fond memories of your loved one may make both of you smile. If your loved one was known for making the best apple pies or for growing beautiful petunias, consider embarking on a project doing together in the person’s memory. Sharing your feelings helps your child to see that you are feeling similar emotions.

Read a Book about Grieving

Consider reading a book about grief or the grieving process. If you are unsure of what type of a book would be appropriate for your child, visit the library together and ask the children’s librarian for a recommendation. Some companies, like Caring Funerals, know that books put words to the grieving process and may help your child to see that many people experience the loss of a loved one.

Visit a Counselor

In some cases, a child has a difficult time processing the strong emotions around the loss of a loved one. It is okay to visit a counselor together. A grief counselor or even a children’s counselor can help to talk your child through those feelings. The counselor may also provide you with additional helpful advice about comforting your child and processing strong emotions in a healthy way.

After a loved one passes on, the grieving process begins. For many people, grief is not a sprint that is short and quick. It is often more like a marathon, and you will need to be prepared to deal with strong feelings for a while. Being there for your child, listening and doing some of your favorite things together can all be helpful for comforting your son or daughter.

Tim Esterdahl

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