Perspectives on Grieving
“I feel my dad’s presence next to me at the kitchen table.” Elizabeth, age 10
Imagine’s Coping with Illness (CWI) program is a free peer-support program for families facing life-altering illnesses. A life-altering illness is any diagnosis that significantly changes one’s day-to-day life. Our peer-support groups meet concurrently once a month on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. We have groups for children ages 3-18 and for parent-caregivers and parent-patients. All groups meet concurrently.
This piece was written in response to an editorial in the Westfield Leader about a Westfield Board of Education strategic goal to foster resilience and help students cope.
Recommended Book List Preschool Age: Sad Isn't Bad – A Guidebook for Kids Dealing With Loss, by Michaelene Mundy- About the death of a grandparent. About Dying: An Open Book for Parents and Children Together, by Sara Stein The Empty Place: A Child's Guide through Grief, by Roberta Temes The Dead Bird, by Margaret Brown When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death, by Laurie Brown Early School…
When a mass tragedy, such as a school shooting or bombing occurs, children will often feel scared. Some have many questions for adults. Others say very little, leaving adults wondering what they know or understand. Caring adults may feel a huge sense of responsibility to protect their children as well as insecurity about what to say to them. Here are some basic ideas to keep in mind when talking to children about violence:
After searching in card stores and online for sympathy cards designed for children and teens and not finding any, Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss decided to make its own. Find beautifully made cards by children for children in our online store.
There are multiple factors that affect the way children grieve. Developmental age is one factor that may influence children’s behaviors. Based off developmental age and what that brings, we have some suggestions for adults to consider when their child or a child they know is experiencing grief. Some recommendations are universal across ages, such as the inclusion of infants, children and adolescents…
We have seen adults go to extreme lengths to keep children from experiencing negative emotions, like anger, sadness, confusion, and anxiety. We hear such stories on TV – they can be almost comical, like the always popular “replacing the dead fish with a new one” storyline or the “the dog lives on a farm now” plot - but in the end the adults usually have to tell the truth, the difficult stuff is glossed over, and the episode ends with a group hug.
“My husband is going to die and I have no idea how to tell our three year old daughter.” This sentence comes speeding through the receiver the moment I pick up the phone. If this were my private phone line then perhaps this would seem strange, but it’s not. It’s my work line at Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss, where calls like this happen fairly often.
The week of September 7–September 13, 2015 is National Suicide Prevention Week: Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives and surrounds International Suicide Prevention Day, Wednesday, September 10th.