Many years of loosing loved ones, has provided us the challenge to get good at it.
What a thing to become good at; here are some helpful tips & things we’ve learned over the last three years.
I share with you a little in hopes that your children can ease through the transitions of grief along with you.
1. KEEP THEM INFORMED:
As a sensory sensitive empathic child, I always knew what was going on. Even though adults didn’t always share openly with me, I could feel things before they got big and noticeable. I would sense tension before arguments were had. I felt fear for reasons I didn’t understand until later growing up and understanding they weren’t mine.
What’s helped the most through these transitions in grief is keeping the children informed of what’s going on. Letting them know feelings we are having, allowing our humanness to be known and what tools we are using to care for ourselves.
We've explained at a child’s level what they can expect, that the adults reactions are not personal, that big feelings come with the loss of someone you love & sometimes we need to talk it through out loud so they are affirmed & feel safe amidst stress & sadness.
2. MAKE TIME FOR FUN:
Easier said then done some days, yet the act of getting into the moment with children can bring light & joy that will help you both. When grief comes in thick within a house hold, what was ‘normal’ or 'routine' changes for a time. Bringing in little bouts of “normal” with fun or play can make a huge difference to our children.
I found it brought them hope that I was back for a while or that we can still get through the tough parts with some fun connecting in between.
3. LISTEN TO THE BEHAVIOURS:
From a wise gifted friend Coura, she shared ‘Behaviour is communication’ sometimes children don’t have the ability to express clearly what they are feeling or to even understand it themselves.
Therefore at times of grief within the home, there may be an increase in behaviour, attention seeking, melt downs, fears, bumpy transitions, refusals, etc. This is natural, as big emotions are processing around them, behaviours can be the best way they know how to show you their truth. You can:
Start bed time earlier, it gives us time to connect in the evening when it’s quiet, calm, safe & close. I like to ask “Is there anything you’d like to share before I say goodnight?” or “Anything been on your mind lately?"
When the melt downs are continuous, I like to ask “There’s a lot of feelings for everyone right now, are you feeling it?” or “Do you need a hug? I’m feeling overwhelmed lately too”
Affirming they are not alone can at times reduce a lot of outbursts.
Giving access points to being understood or understand yourself as a young person is empowering. There may be little capacity or time for them, but letting them know you hear them, you see it’s hard & that when you can make some special time to listen you will. This helps immensely.
4. ASK FOR HELP:
This has been a big lesson for me as a human, to accept & ask for help but as it gets easier I can see how it benefits the children too. Reaching out to friends & family or trusted supports in your life brings out resources that you may not have.
Taking time to process someone’s death, what’s been left behind for you to sort out within, takes a lot emotionally. Allowing for space to feel, listen, reflect, share & get the support you need will help you through the steps of grieving in a healthy way.
Space from children is a golden tool to accomplish that.
It also gives the children a chance to lean on someone else, perhaps share with a trusted person that isn’t their parent, how powerful. A lot of times children want to please or not upset a parent, therefore not always telling them what’s on their mind or troubling their heart. Even a little person needs someone to talk to, so they can receive support through stressors/feelings/challenges.
5. CONNECT TO A HIGHER SOURCE:
This one is unique to every individual or family, yet such an important one. Belief in a higher power or faith that fills the pain/emptiness provides ease, grace and trust. When the going gets tough, prayer & reaching out to loved ones has provided our family with grounding, faith & trust.
Children can use faith, which ever kind that connects them to a source within them self. On the days when there’s nothing left in the parent tank or when deep questions of life & why we loose people & things come up. There’s an anchor and curiosity that can carry them through, a resource that will keep growing over time.
It can provide them a place to ask for help or clarity that can fill from within, connecting them to the world around them.
What ever kind of grief you’re going through, loss of a loved one, divorce, sickness, mental health, loss of job, your children are along on the journey with you.
It’s a process & it takes time. It’s ok to feel, fall apart & need space. You are not alone.
Let them in on the humanness, feelings & create space to listen, share, ask for help, find fun & hope to ensure the little people are secure in the process & getting support they need too.
Remember you’re doing the best you can, it’s a journey & they chose you.
So much love
Woman, Wife, Mother and Intuitive. Consciously evolving with all of nature and humanity.