One in 15 children will lose a parent or sibling by age 18 – a statistic that is poignantly brought to life through the New York Life Foundation’s partnership with StoryCorps, a project to tell the stories of bereaved families which is being announced in conjunction with Children’s Grief Awareness Day (CGAD).
In Road to Resilience: Memories that Move Us Forward, StoryCorps works with some of the New York Life Foundation’s bereavement support organization partners to leverage the power of storytelling to help children cope with the death of a loved one. Children and their families are given opportunities to preserve memories of their loved ones, share their grief journeys, and record themselves as they are.
In the New York Life Foundation’s 2017 Bereavement Survey, those who lost a parent growing up spoke to storytelling’s important role in their grief journey, indicating that the most helpful thing family or friends did after their loss was to share stories about their loved one (37%, highest cited action). A full 68% felt that it would have been easier to cope with their grief if our society was more open to talking about death and loss.
To encourage more children to share their stories as part of the grieving process, StoryCorps engages with the Foundation’s bereavement support partners, covering on-the-ground training and resources to help organizations adopt their interview model for the children they serve. StoryCorps also covers critical grief conversation tools, including adapted versions of their Great Questions lists, audio clips, and kid-friendly animations and discussion guides.