Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Children Who Experience Loss

The parallels between the death of a parent and adoption.

I've done an incredible amount of research in the past months about childhood loss, grief and healing. I'm sure we'll have challenges ahead with Lucy that we'll have to navigate as we go but we are trying to be as prepared as we can.

I wrote an article for Mom•Logic today about helping children who are grieving the loss of a parent. I have a personal interest in the story not only because I experienced that loss but because I want to do the best I can in explaining to Lucy the circumstances of her adoption.

What Will Her Mommy Say?
How do you tell a child Daddy's never coming home?

With the sudden passing of actor Heath Ledger, Moms everywhere can empathize with Michelle Williams, mother of his now fatherless 2-year-old daughter, Matilda. What kind of conversations is she going to have to have through the years? Matilda is too young to understand now, but soon she'll wonder—maybe even hear kids at school or relatives talking—and her mother is going to have to give her something.

According to Children's Grief Education Association, approximately 4.8 million U.S. children are grieving the loss of a parent. Mom•Logic friend and family counselor Rosanne Tobey LPC says the best way to inform a child of a sudden loss is to keep it simple and allow the child to express themselves and to ask questions.
• Don't provide too many details, unless asked. Talk to the child based on the developmental level they're at. With small kids, keep it simple, but be honest—don't tell them they "went to sleep" or "were sick" because children will take it literally and have a fear of being sick or sleeping. For the whole article, click here

1 comment:

Tsang Family said...

When I have some time I'll check this out. I don't know if you were on the board at the time when our close friend died in July. He was the dad of Sierra's best friend and my close friend's husband. Anyway, their daughter is not dealing well with his loss and even now will not talk about him. I look at Sierra and now Samantha and just feel so sad. Thanks. Lori