Children and Grief

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Grieving the loss of a loved one is difficult, especially for a child.  When a child loses a loved one to death or incarceration, the loss can have a profound effect on the rest of his or her life.

Emotional, psychological and physical trauma that often come with loss challenge children's well-being and school performance.  Grieving children are likely to feel different, and very alone.

While concealing deep emotional   pain, fear and loss of concentration,   children are in the pressure cooker   of  expectations to grow emotionally   and academically. They say that   seeing friends with parents and   parent/child school activities are daily reminders of their own loss.

Children express grief in a different way than adults.  They tend to move in and out of intense feelings, rather than sustaining high levels of one emotion for long periods of time.  When adults see a grieving child playing or laughing, they may mistakenly believe that the child is "over it".  This perception may influence how much grief support a child receives.

New Resource:

Helpful Files and Links
Anticipatory Grief Bibliography
Children Attending Funerals Children's Grief Responses
Grieving Children:What to Say How to Help Chart
Informing a Child of a Death Suicide
Start a Support Group

In the United States, approximately 4.8 million children under 18 are grieving the death loss of a parent.

1.5 million children in the US are grieving the loss of a parent to incarceration, sometimes for the duration of their childhood.

Community awareness and support help children heal from loss and excel in life.

Start a Support Group

The loss of a loved one is a universal human experience. How thoughts and feelings about the loss are expressed vary by culture. We encourage you to adapt information in this site to what fits for your beliefs and customs.


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