Children, Teens and Loss

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Helpful Information for Adults

  • Do know that the things you say to children can become a basis of their performance anxiety and their measure of their interpretation of the worth of their own authentic bereavement response.  Do not place platitudes onto children.  Do expect bereavement, and this looks different for each age group.  Healthy bereavement can include otherwise unpleasant behavior, including tantrums.  This is important.
  • Do not tell children that they need to chin up and take care of their parents.  They will not.  They miss their parents as their parents mourn.
  • Do not tell children or parents that at least they have each other.
  • Children grieve the loss of the sibling they may or may not have known or felt connection with.  Children grieve the attention of their parents and grieve the family environment that may never be the same again.  This is not a time for children to rise to the occasion with bravery, but instead to learn more of who their sibling was and is in the family, and learn more of their own, the grieving child’s, inherent worth in the family.  Behavior changes may be one way of wrestling this out.

 

Resources for Adults Supporting Grieving Children

  • Tips for how to tell your other children
  • Know what your other children’s concept of death is, by age
  • Are you rearing children while also mourning children?  You can share about your journey in our Holding Umbrellas collection.
  • When Teachers Face Grief in the Classroom – Dr. Silverman (outside article)
  • The Impact of Miscarriage on Our Daughters is an outside article
  • Our international Long Term Support section has crisis hotlines, books and more (and our local long term support section has resources in your own community)
  • Helpful perspectives and scriptures for the different aspects of pregnancy loss ( outside link – scroll to the bottom and click the link you’d like to read more about)
  • The dynamic of grief in the home between mom, dad and surviving siblings can be a difficult one.  While mom might be nurturing her children’s mourning – that is, their outward expressions of their internal grief – dad may be mourning differently, and if these differences are not validated and honored, it can begin to grow a quiet sense of mom and siblings versus dad.  For this reason, if possible, dads are encouraged to read a grieving book with their children or engage in their journey in some way.  One book I recommend for this is Michael Rosen’s Sad Book.  It is about a bereaved father who lost his teenage son, so a couple of pages might not be the perfect fit, but the images, language and tone can be very valuable in this relationship and journey.

 

Noteworthy Facebook Pages

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 One of the reasons I like the pinwheels so much, is that when you give a kiddo a pinwheel, they often like to try to blow it to move.
Most anything that encourages kiddos to blow – pinwheels, bubbles – helps deepen their breathing, and as such, can help regulate their heart rate, and help to offer a calm. Pinwheels also are fun, and even texturally and visually inviting, so they can be a pleasant offering
to mothers and siblings alike, both trying to find stability through devastation.
Pinwheels are joyful. And joyful, is good. ~Heidi Faith

Resources for Children

By Country

 

Resources for Grieving Teens

Resources for Adults Supporting Grieving Teens

 

 Children & Teens Can Encourage One Another

Stillbirthday holds the stories and experiences of children and teens.  If you have a special drawing or other artwork, or you have a poem or would like to journal your experience and feelings, we’d be honored to hold your feelings and validate you here.  Please speak with an adult about sharing your story, where it will be held at the “Siblings” section of stories.

 

 

Books for Children

Share Your Story Share Your Story Become a Doula before during after

Comments

  1. Wonderful, Heidi. Thank you for this. My son is 5 and he has been very interested lately in the two little ones I lost before his birth. Think I’ll check out that book!

  2. Greetings from Ireland. I wonder might my booklet and video about stillbirth be of any interest to you. I created both projects to mark my stillborn daughter’s would-have-been 21st birthday, April 1st 2014 https://vimeo.com/77928404

    this video will be a bonus feature on the dvd of RETURN TO ZERO (Minnie Driver, Paul Adelstein) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_to_Zero_(film)

    http://www.amazon.com/Return-To-Zero-Minnie-Driver/dp/B00KB8JB9M

    In closing, last weekend I finished producing an angry video poem about the Cillini graves for “unbaptised” stillborn babies https://vimeo.com/97606958

    all the best

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