November is children’s grief awareness month and Above & Beyond Hospice prides itself in the many ways we help families work through grief.
Children’s Grief Awareness
Death is something that we have to deal with at some point of our life. However, grieving children are not commonly acknowledged in society despite the prevalence of grief in the lives of many children.
- Children’s Grief Awareness by the Numbers – 1 in every 20 children will experience the death of a parent.
- Children’s Grief Awareness Day – Highmark was the creator of this special day set aside to focus on helping grieving children. The 3rd Thursday of November is the original day set aside in the U.S. to observe children’s grief awareness; while some prefer to recognize it through the entire month or a particular week.
- Grieving Time – There is no particular length of time that should be considered “normal” and grieving is a process that every person goes through at their own rate under their own terms.
- Why? – The day/month was set aside so people would not only realize the difference between a grieving child and an adult but help provide a positive way to grieve. Above & Beyond Home Health Care and Hospice provides a number of resources on our resource page and each year we hold a children’s grief camp along with a variety of other ways to guide you and your family with grief.
- Talking – Every person addresses their grief differently; however, you should let your child know that you are there for them when they are ready to talk.
- Explaining the Future Hope – One of the most important things to get across to children is not only that it’s okay to grieve but that their feelings are normal. Give them hope for the future by letting them know it does get better.
Signs of Grief in Children
There are not always signs, especially in children and teenagers. Children may often hide their feelings and mask their reactions out of fear or confusion about what others may expect of them when it comes to grieving.
- Bed Wetting
- Social Dysfunction & Withdrawal
- Sleep Issues
- Behavioral Issues
- Increased or New Fears
Remember that there are no set “signs” or are right or wrong ways to grieve. Grief has to be handled on a one on one, individual basis and children’s grief can be hard to work through; especially if you are grieving yourself. Having someone to guide you and work with you and your child as they process their grief is extremely important.
Online Resources for Children & Grief
We have provided a number of online resources below. These resources will be especially helpful during the holiday season. Bookmark this page now so that you can refer back to it quickly when needed.
Let us be a part of your child’s healing process. We know and understand grieving. We’re happy we could provide some insight & resources for Children’s Grief Awareness Month and look forward to offering help to you and your family whenever you may need it.
Photo by ellyn.