How to Help Your Children Through the Passing of a Loved One

Collaborative post by another author. When a family member or loved one passes away, it’s a difficult and challenging time for all the family. On the one hand, you need the time and space to deal with the loss and grieving process in your own way, but you also need to support your children through the process too. This can be made even harder if it's their first experience of death. Here are some ways you can help your children through the grieving process when they lose someone close to them. 

How to talk to your children through the loss of a loved one
Loss of a loved one is hard for us all to deal with, but how can you support your children?

Help Them Understand What it Means

Children often don't understand what death means so you might need to help explain it to them. Even if they use words which suggest understanding they often don't really understand that it is permanent and has consequences so you need to find an age-appropriate way of helping explain that. There are resources out there to help parents with that. A natural progression is then a fear about losing other loved ones too.

Be There to Talk it Through

Simply being there to talk to and discuss things is important for you as their parent. It’s up to you to be there and to help them know that you will get through it all. It’s difficult when there’s a big change in the family dynamic, especially as a result of a passing, but your kids need to talk things through sometimes and you should make sure you’re present and available for those difficult conversations. Don't feel like you have to ignore your own needs though. If some days you aren't feeling strong enough for the difficult conversations then it's ok to tell your children you are feeling very sad and ask if you talk with them later.

Do Your Best to Reassure Them

It’s sometimes important to reassure your kids about the whole process and what’s going on. They might feel that everything is changing and nothing is as certain as it used to be. That’s a natural way for them to feel and there are likely to be big changes in their life, but you can reassure them about all the things that are not changing and talk about good things that are going to happen. 

Keep Their Memory Alive

Keeping the memory of your child’s grandparent alive is one of the most important things for you to focus your time and attention on when you’re helping through this whole process. You can keep hold of things like memorial cards and mementos from their personal life and pass them down to your grandchildren. Do this sparingly and only with items that are important and special.

Give Them Some Consistency

Giving them some consistency in terms of their home life and the routines that they go through from day to day can help a lot. When things are in flux and there’s a negative issue to deal with, such as a family member passing away, it’s important to be consistent and normal in other areas. So keep morning and bedtime routines the same ensure they’re still going to school.

It’s never easy to deal with these kinds of situations in your personal life, but it’s important that you find ways of doing so because that’ll ultimately benefit your child. This is going to be a difficult time for them but with their help and support, they can come out the other side stronger.

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