Grief is usually a complicated emotional process irrespective of a person’s age. It is even more complicated and challenging to explain the reality of death to a teenager or child. Sometimes a person may wonder where to start since it can be hard to know what to say or comfort a kid handling grief. Furthermore, kids express different reactions based on their age, personality, and developmental phase.
The following are tips to help your children when their grandparent passes away.
Various complications may result in the death of a person. Notably, less than 18% of the 1.55 million beneficiaries of Medicare who sought hospice services in 2018 had a primary heart failure diagnosis. After the death of a grandparent occurs, a child usually has many questions in their mind. The response you give to your child depends on their maturity level and age. However, it would help if you were direct and honest.
Moreover, if the kids are young, you should be brief. You should also explain to them the situation in a light manner. In some instances, a child can repeatedly ask the same question. When this arises, be patient and consistently answer their questions. You should also avoid confusing them with words that will raise more questions.
Be Patient and Empathetic
Since the death of a kid’s grandparent causes grief to both the parent and kids, it can be more complicated. Therefore, as a parent, you should grasp your kid’s emotions and express your understanding of their emotions. It would help if you patiently spent time with your kids to assist them in handling the situation.
Answer Their Questions
After losing a loved one, kids usually have many questions in their minds. When a parent loses a grandparent, they may anticipate that another family member may die. Furthermore, if the grandparent died due to an illness, the kid may associate death with illness. This may instill a lot of fear in them, especially if they get ill or someone else in the family gets ill. So, it is crucial to handle their questions very carefully and smartly.
For instance, you should avoid linking sickness to death. It would help if you also reminded your kids that you would protect them and ensure that they are healthy. It is also essential to organize some rituals to make them accept the situation. Notably, most floral arrangements last from four to seven days depending on the level of care of the flowers and their types. You may replace flowers on your kitchen table each week so your kids can see something beautiful that reminds them of their grandparent every day. Lastly, you should answer all their questions and ensure that they do not have any lingering inquiries.
Provide Comfort and Stability
When your kid loses a grandparent, it is also essential to offer them comfort and stability. It would help if you encouraged them to express their emotions, as it can help deal with the situation. Kids can also express their feeling through drawing a picture or writing a journal. During this time, you should emotionally support them by making them view you as their source of strength. This helps in driving any fears they may have.
Teach Funeral Etiquette
There are varying opinions on whether or not kids should be present during funerals. Moreover, nine out of 10 services attended daily have loved ones who do not attend for various reasons. Though kids should be with their families when grieving, funerals can overwhelm them. Sometimes, attending a visitation can be a recommendable alternative for attending an actual funeral. However, if the kid will attend the funeral service, you should psychologically prepare them for what they should expect.
Losing a loved one is a difficult time, especially for children. It is hard to explain to a young child the reality of death, particularly if they haven’t experienced any other. However, you should help your kids to overcome the situation by supporting them psychologically, as this is one of your parenting duties.