November is Children’s Grief Awareness Month. It’s an important topic, and one that I think is worthy of a second blog this month. I hope that you will take the time to read and share the information I’ve been posting this month. It’s important to me, as a Child Life Specialist who has worked with grieving children and families for more than twenty years. I consider it an honor and a privilege to support families during this very private and painful time, possibly the most difficult time they will ever experience. I know that having appropriate support can really make all the difference.
While most adults would prefer to imagine that no child ever needs to grieve, the truth is that according to studies one in seven children in the US will experience the death of a parent or sibling before graduating from high school (hellogrief.org). Because so many adults would prefer to ignore the subject or avoid it at all costs, children are left on their own after the death of a loved one, afraid to bring up the subject with their significant adults. This leaves them feeling alone, isolated, and creates a lifelong impact. But imagine if no child ever had to grieve alone. As health practitioners and caregivers, I know that we can change how we talk to children about death, dying and grief. That we can be the ones who begin to speak up and provide children with the support they need during one of life’s toughest challenges.