If this is your family’s first experience with death, you may be wondering how and even whether to include your children in the rituals of grief and mourning for the special person who has died. You may have many questions about how best to meet your children’s needs at such a sad and difficult time. In this first in a series of posts on this topic, I hope to help you answer some of those questions.
Quite simply, what your children need most from you is honesty. They need accurate, factual information and freedom to ask their questions and express their feelings. Whenever possible, they need to be included in decisions, discussions and family commemorative rituals. They need stable, consistent attention from their caretakers. And like the adults around them, they need time to explore and come to terms with the meaning of their loss.