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How do you help your child deal with

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Death.  Be it a family member, pet, friend, acquaintance?

My dd is 14 and had her first loss that she remembers 5 1/2 years ago with my uncle someone she had only met a couple of times.  Then my mom passed away 2 weeks later.  My mom's death was terribly hard on her.  That year we lost 5 family members total 2 on my side and 3 on dh side.  We did not go to any of dh families funerals although he went to his grandma's by himself due to school/work and distance.  We could not afford for all of us to go. 

Now anytime someone or a pet dies she has a total meltdown. I had a friend, whos sister passed away 2 weeks ago and my dd only met her a couple of times and she cried and cried.  An older lady from church passed away Thursday, her funeral is Monday, and dd was so upset she couldn't go to school.  I have another friend whos mom is like a grandma to my kids, she isnt doing very well either.

It took her years to get over my mom's death, she still has her moments where she boohoo's.  I am almost to the point where I don't want to tell her when someone dies and hope that we can keep her occupied at a friends house while we go to the funerals.  Is she just overly sensitive or what???  She is not the type of kid who cries just to cry or do things just to get attention. Any suggestions?

by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-13):
by Member on Feb. 17, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Grief therapy... the child needs someone to talk to...

by Emily on Feb. 17, 2013 at 6:50 PM


Quoting DarlaHood:

I agree that she needs some grief counseling.  I understand that it was over 5 years ago, and I also understand that there were losses of relatives that she wasn't particularly close to.  However, losing her grandmother, and then experiencing so many losses so quickly after that could easily have made a big impression in a child's mind.  It's not just about the people, it is also about the vulnerability that comes with loss.  Each time there is another death, it reminds her of the fragility of life and her own vulnerability in experiencing the loss.  It's quite possible that she also has unresolved feelings that she did not understand, could not articulate, and was unable to deal with at the time.  These feelings can come up and overwhelm her as she processes new loss.  It is probably more about what is inside her than it is about the relationship with the person.  And to top it off, she's at an age where girls are typically more emotional (and occasionally irrationally so) about all kinds of things.  Her hormones are all over the place, and that just complicates things. 

These days, most pastors don't do extensive counseling - and they are not trained to do it.  Seeing a Licensed therapist who specializes in working with children and adolescents or who specializes in grief and loss would be ideal.  No offense at all to the competency of your pastor, but therapists go through years of school specifically for this, and have even more training if they specialize.  An adolescent grief and loss support group might also be helpful. She might also relate with a female therapist since she is also dealing with female adolescent experiences. 

Everyone experiences death and grief differently, and emotions and tears are not necessarily bad, but it is important to know that your dd is in an emotionally helathy palce. 

 excellant advice

by Silver Member on Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:25 AM

The kid's reactions also depend on how the family deals with death.

In my family, we believe in celebrating the life more than mourning the death. We acknowledge that we will miss that person but we know that we will see them again in heaven. Death is only temporary.

As some said, maybe a therapist would help her. I'm not a huge fan of therapy but see the necessity at times. I would spend a lot of time talking to DD myself and listening ot her fears and going over your beliefs.

If you feel she needs more, a pastor ot a therapist, then go for it.

Jinx - Homeschooling, Scouting & Karate butt-kicking  Mom to Star Scout Ian 1/98, Scout Sean 9/00, Junior GS Heidi 4/03. Wife to Joe & Alpha to German Shepherd Spazz.

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