Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How to Help a Child Deal with the Death of a Loved One

"When someone you love dies,
You never quite get over it.
You just slowly learn,
How to go without them.
But always keeping them,
Tucked safely in your heart."

It is very difficult for a child to cope up with the recent death of someone he loved. The death of his loved one confuses and hurts them and makes them go into a shell. They actually wonder what it is all about as they don't understand what is happening around? Whenever there is a death in the family of our near and dear ones  we exclude children from the funeral. The whole process of death or dying makes us vulnerable. So just imagine what a child must be going through! Bewildered and totally confused of what is going around, children usually try to seek answers from their elders. And when they don't get these answers for their questions they get wrong notions about the whole dying process.

When death occurs within a family, a child is usually kept away from the process. We take care that we avoid discussions pertaining to death be withheld in front of our children. Either we try to change the topic or we send them to their rooms. Often kids are sent away until the funeral process is completed. Kids are not invited to the funeral and everything is concealed in euphemism and secrecy.

But have we ever wondered what all this secrecy and concealment does to a child. The sudden disappearance of his favorite person add to his dilemma. Now this death could be of anyone, one of his parents, grandparents, siblings,uncle, aunt or even a close friend. Someone very near and dear to him or her whom they see everyday and would not be seeing anymore. This could really be devastating to a child. The whole concealment would further worsen up the matter.

How to help a Child Deal with the Death of a Loved One

Let Your Child Pour Out To You

Try and understand what your child is going through. It is important that a child pours out his feelings and his confusions. Try to talk to him. This will definitely relax his mind and help him feel better.

Have One to One Conversation

It is very important that you and your child have a fair conversation. He has to be told and not to be kept in any darkness. A child has to know what is going on in the house and he is also part of it. Answer his questions fully without divulging deep details.

Let Him Know It is Okay to Remember

Assure the child that even though his favorite person won't be around anymore, it is still okay if he misses them or tries to remember them. 

Let Him Say Good Bye

Let your child participate in the funeral process. Experts have maintained that when a child is allowed to involve in the process of death, he or she copes better. Let the child be allowed to share his or her favorite memory with the person, in front of everyone. He could even sing a farewell song or a good bye song if he wishes.

Let Him Know the Cause of Death

The child should be made aware of the cause of death, but not in exact terms. The child could be told that the person who died, his death was due to some illness or old age or accident. Merely saying being sick can make a child fear sickness as if, "Oh, I have fear, I am sick and I am going to die"!

Alive In Memories

If the person who passed away had a special bond or connection with the child, assure him that the connection would always remain that way. Don't ask him to try to forget this person.  Let the child know that it is okay to always keep the dead person alive in his memories. Allow the child to keep a memento like a picture or a thing belonged to the person who passed away. 

It would take a little time, as they say 'Time heals all wounds'. As days would pass, your child would start feeling better. We need to give them some time to recover. Always be close by and try to spend some time with them. Try to engage them in activities they enjoy. This would act as a distraction and could help your child to deal with the death of his loved one. 

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