Color & Control:

Helping grandchildren cope with loss

In Freda the Frog Says Farewell to Her Fish, Nadine Haruni presents a story that is designed to help families struggling with loss and the often overwhelming feelings surrounding it.

The following are a few of her tips to help us find the right words or actions when explaining the grieving process to a youngster:
Use simple, direct words to talk about death. Give the child time to absorb what you’ve said and prepare them for the rituals or events that will occur.
Let them know that their loved one won’t be forgotten and help them draw or write about treasured times.
Find an age-appropriate book that has relatable characters that will help them explore the feelings they are experiencing.
Listen, provide comfort and encourage conversation. Remind them that it’s okay to cry or openly discuss their feelings.
Teach them about appropriate condolence gestures and share hugs.
Create a tasteful good-bye ceremony that they can take part in.

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