Helping Your Family to Cope With Grief
Death is an inevitable part of life, but although that might be easy for you and me to understand, it can be much more difficult for children and teens to cope with the loss of a loved one. Grief shows its face in many ways, from anger to depression, and it can be tough to work through feelings as a family without feeling overwhelmed. While the grieving process is hard on everyone involved, however, it’s also a necessary and healthy part of acceptance. As a parent, you can help to provide comfort and support for your family in trying times and help your children to cope with their feelings of grief.
Acknowledge the Loss
It can be difficult to explain the loss of a loved one in a way that young children can understand, and when you yourself are mourning, it can be tempting to gloss over important details. Even if you’re trying to spare your children heartache, however, you’re not doing either of yourselves any favors by skirting the truth. It’s important to have an upfront and candid discussion with your family after a loss and show them that you’re there to listen and offer support.
Recognize Your Own Feelings
While it’s important to be there for your family in times of need, you shouldn’t neglect your own feelings. After the loss of a loved one, you should take some personal time to work through your grief in whatever way necessary. You can turn to your family for support as they did for you, or reach out to friends and neighbors. It may be a good idea to take some time off work to give yourself time to grieve properly.
Don’t Rule Out Professional Help
Many of us moms like to play the superhero, but it’s not always possible to tackle all of life’s problems solo. Sometimes, you need to turn to the experts for help. If you and your family are having trouble coping with the loss of a loved one, it may be a good idea to seek out professional assistance. A family psychologist or licensed grief counselor can help you, your spouse, and your children to work through your feelings healthily.
After the loss of a loved one, life at home can be tense. Everyone expresses grief in different ways, which can lead to disputes and disagreements. As a parent, you can help to guide your children through the grieving process and strengthen your bond as a family.