Saturday, November 10, 2012

Children's Grief Awareness Day: 11/15/12

Grief is a powerful emotional experience that results from loss - be it from death, divorce, trauma or disaster. By the age of 16, over 5.4 million children will suffer the death of a parent, 50% of children will experience loss of a parent to divorce, and more than 68% of children will endure a traumatic event.
In an effort to bring awareness to this subject, Children's Grief Awareness Day is observed every year on the third Thursday of November. This awareness day helps bring light to the unique experience children have when losing someone they love - and an opportunity for all of us to recognize and support the millions of grieving children.
The National Alliance for Grieving Children offers some helpful facts about grief in childhood.
  • Grief is a normal reaction for a child to the death of someone in his or her life or a significant loss.
  • Grieving children can handle the truth, so be honest and open when talking about things.
  • Each child’s grief is as unique to him or her as was their relationship with the person lost.
  • Children who are grieving often feel alone and misunderstood.
  • Grieving children feel less alone when they can be with other children who have experienced the death of a parent or a similar loss.
Link here for tips on how to help your child or student deal with grief and here for more ways to comfort your child.  And if these tools aren't helping to ease the pain, consider contacting a professional therapist who specializes in trauma and loss.