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March 17, 2015

Tips for helping Children cope with Death.

Enal Magirite / Pixoto

Many children deal with the loss of a loved one.

It can take a huge toll on their personality and their whole view of life.

The 22nd of this month marks the six year anniversary of losing my dad. I was 13-years-old and devastated.

I didn’t know how my life was going to continue. Just like any other kid would feel—I felt many different emotions—like anger, sadness and much more. Within 6 years I have felt every level of grief.

During the time, since my father passed, I have found ways to cope, with help from my therapist and a grieving camp called “Camp Healing Powers.” It helped me more than I could have imagined.

I’ve also found ways to help me heal on my own.

Even though, I never wanted any sort of grief counseling or to attend a grief camp, I’m thankful my mom enrolled me.

The things I was shown and learned myself, are wonderful ways for children, and adults as well, to cope with death.

1. Writing a letter to our loved one, or writing one from their point of view, of what they would say to us.

2. Writing notes to them on a balloon and releasing it in the air. (This was a good one that I found from camp).

3. Meditation! Just taking time to breathe! With the range of emotions that one feels during a time of loss, many forget to breathe, I know I’ve forgotten to.

4. Create a memory box, decorate it however,it can be with memories of them, or really anything, the box is where we store the memories.

5. Create a stress ball—there are honestly many ways to make one, like filling a water balloon with sand for example. This is good to squeeze anger onto, or to take out anything one is feeling.

6. Last but not least. Cry! Scream! And let all emotions out! Everyone needs to know that it’s okay to feel, because we are human and need to let it all out, instead of bottling it up.

Despite the harsh feelings one may experience from a traumatic event, such as death, it is an experience that shapes and defines each and every one of us.

It is easy to feel lost, but even simple things can decrease the pain and enhance the healing.

Children are often lost and confused in the process of grief, and giving them ways to cope can help them for a lifetime.

 ~

Relephant:

The Value of Holding Space with Another’s Grief.

Author: Ashley Jordan Ehlers

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: pixoto

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