November 23, 2016

Help Grieving Children Through the Holidays

The holidays can be a painful time, for adults and although no one wants to admit it, even children can have a painful experience during this time of year. Possibly they have lost a grandparent or even a beloved family pet. Courtesy of Ele's Place, a healing center for grieving children, here are some ways to help grieving children through the holidays:
  • Share photos and holiday memories of the person who died - Children want to know they're not alone in grief. 
  • Make an ornament, or prepare a favorite photo to hang on the tree that reminds the child of the person who died. 
  • Decorate a candle and light it at meal time in memory of the loved one. 
  • Help the child make a donation to a charity in memory of the person who died.
  • Help the child decorate a wreath with pictures and items that were loved by the person who died and place the wreath at the grave. 
  • Listen to the loved one’s favorite holiday music. 
  • Help the child with a blessing at meal time that mentions the person who died. 
  • Encourage the child to draw pictures and create gifts inspired by their memories of the loved one to give to other family members.

“It is important to help children acknowledge the loss of a loved one during the holidays,” said Wendy Brightman, Managing Director of Ele’s Place in Ann Arbor. “Children often need ‘permission’ to talk about the person who died. Let them know you would rather keep the memory of your loved one alive than pretend nothing has changed.”
Ele’s Place provides creative, age-appropriate support groups year-round for children and teens, 3-18 years old, throughout the Ann Arbor area. All services are provided at no cost to families. For more information, visit the Ele's Place website or call (734) 929-6640.

republished from my article on in 2009

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