CHILDREN AND GRIEF
Children grieve. No matter how young, they sense the loss even as infants. It is important to include children in your conversations and your decisions. Let them see your emotion and encourage them to express theirs. Let them ask questions – lots of them. And answer them honestly. If you don’t know the answer to a question tell them so. What you don’t tell them, or what they think you are hiding from them, they will make up. They’ll fill in the gaps. Commonly their imaginations will be worse than the reality.
Ministers and funeral homes usually have books on death written for children that you can borrow. Often they help us adults just as much!
Be sure to alert your child’s teacher or principal when there has been a death in your circle of family or friends. Children will commonly act out in unusual ways (become aggressive, or passive, begin to do poorly in school work, etc). If the teacher knows about the recent loss, he or she can help your child talk about it.