The death of a dear family member or a friend can be quite baffling and painful for a child, who can easily form bonds and resentments when they’re broken. Breaking the news to a young one can be daunting, but adults have to be ready since it’s for the sake of their children. Here are some pointers on preparing your kids for the news.
Be Gentle and Simple
Much like teaching them how to walk, children will not be able to grasp news of death easily. In an episode of Sesame Street, Big Bird kept asking if Mr. Hooper, one of the show’s beloved neighbours, would ever come back from death. Children can ask questions that are profoundly simple for them but can yield harsh truths when answered, especially regarding old age and passing away. Expect them to repeatedly ask about it and be honest with them until they can finally accept it.
Allow Them to Grieve
Your children may have many different reactions to your sad news. Have you ever seen them cry when something they like is taken away, such as a toy, snack, or pet? It’s normal that they would make an even bigger fuss due to their recent loss. They can be sullen, violent, or unresponsive. Your maturity and self-control should come into play in order for you to properly respond to their reaction.
Grieve for Yourself, Too
Yes, you have to be strong to show your children that they can rely on you for emotional support. However, it’s also important for you to see to your own well-being. Do not hesitate to allow others to plan the funeral and hire a funeral service provider such as Golden Leaves Funeral Plans on your behalf if it all seems overwhelming. Talking to a psychiatrist or grief counsellor can also be of help to you.
It isn’t the end for you and your children when facing the loss of a dear family member. You can both grieve in your own special way and even with each other. Take it one day at a time and don’t forcefully rush your healing.