Do you know someone who died? Your Mom? Your Dad? Your brother or sister? Your grandparent? Your friend?
You are not the only one!
Lots of children and teens have experienced the death of someone close to them. Hopefully this site can help you through the hard times after a death.
When someone close to us dies, we experience something called grief. You may have heard about grief but are not quite sure what it is all about. Grief can be feelings: anger, sadness, worry, relief, fear, numbness. Or it may be thoughts, such as “Who will take care of me now that my mom died?,” “Why do people get cancer?,” or “What will happen next?” Sometimes, grief affects our bodies. We feel sleepy, or have trouble falling asleep. We may not feel like eating. We may have headaches or stomachaches or all of a sudden don’t feel like doing things we usually like to do, such as playing or going to school. All of these experiences are normal for grieving kids.
You might have wondered: will I ever get over this? There is no magic pill for grief. It’s not something you “get over.” A lot of people say grief is like a journey. Although it never ends, things do get better, and there are things you can do to smooth over the rough and rocky places along the way.
Every kid grieves differently. There are no right or wrong ways to grieve. There are, however, some helpful things and not-so-helpful things you can do while you’re grieving. We hope that this site will be a safe place where you can learn from other children about what helps.
After his Dad died, 7-year-old Michael said he had “lots of feelings all mixed up inside.” Some days, he felt angry and wanted to throw his Legos all over his room. Other times, he felt lonely and quiet and could sit by the window watching the rain fall for an hour. There were days he felt guilty and wished he could have done something to help his dad. At times, he forgot about his dad for a little bit and felt happy about something, like winning at Nintendo or getting his allowance money.
There are many feelings that we have when someone dies. It’s different for everybody. There is no right or wrong way to feel. It’s okay if you cry and it’s okay if you don’t cry. You may feel sad or angry or shocked or confused or nothing at all. You may hurt in your body or feel dizzy or tired. All feelings are normal.
Here are some things you can do to help you express your feelings.
Activity 1: Finish the following sentences:
The thing that makes me feel the saddest is …..
If I could talk to the person who died I would ask….
Since the death my family doesn’t….
My worst memory is….
If I could change things I would….
One thing that I liked to do with the person who died was…
When the person died I….
Since the death my friends….
After the death, school….
When I am alone….
Is there anyone you want to share this with?
Activity 2: Drawing
Find a piece of paper and fold it in half. On one side, draw a picture of your family before the death. On the other side, draw a picture of your family after the death. You might want to share your picture with someone who would understand.
“The kids love to come and it has made a huge difference in their lives. Here, tears turn to smiles and hearts are mended. Thank-you – all of you – what a blessing all of you are.”
– Parent Participant