Starting conversations about death and grief

Starting conversations about death and grief

I’ve spoken with several surviving parents, or care givers that have one thing in common: the wish that their child, or children, will find a place to talk about their loss and share their feelings. I have heard this in numerous ways: “He keeps his feelings bottled up inside.” “She freezes up when I try to talk about Daddy.” “She just refuses to talk about it with me.”

Intuitively, we know being able to talk about our loss is healing in some way, but often, it is not easy to talk about it ourselves, or to get our children to talk about it.

Below are a few things that you, as parent or guardian, might try. Remember, if and when they do talk, listen. Repeat what they say and validate any feelings they might share. Also, be aware that the conversation may well surface feelings of your own. It is OK to cry together, be angry together, be sad together, and be confused together. That’s part of the healing journey.

A few ways to help your child talk about their loss:

What have you done with your family to help open conversation? Please share your experiences and suggestions as comments below.

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