August 29, 2017
Dear Parents/Guardians of Our Gilmartin Family,
With the passing of one of our students, we wanted to share some ideas on how to talk to your children about grief and questions that may arise at home…
Use simple, clear words. Approach your child in a caring way. Use words that are simple and direct. For example, "I have some sad news to tell you……. Pause to give your child a moment to take in your words.
Listen and comfort. Every child reacts differently to learning that a loved one has died. Some kids cry. Some ask questions. Others seem not to react at all. That's OK. Stay with your child to offer hugs or reassurance. Answer your child's questions or just be together for a few minutes.
Put emotions into words. Encourage kids to say what they're thinking and feeling in the days, weeks, and months following the loss.
Help your child remember the person. In the days and weeks ahead, encourage your child to draw pictures or write down favorite stories of their loved one. Don't avoid mentioning the person who died. Recalling and sharing happy memories helps heal grief and activate positive feelings.
Respond to emotions with comfort and reassurance. Notice if your child seems sad, worried, or upset in other ways. Ask about feelings and listen. Let your child know that it takes time to feel better after a loved one dies.
Help your child feel better. Provide the comfort your child needs, but don't dwell on sad feelings. After a few minutes of talking and listening, shift to an activity or topic that helps your child feel a little better.
Give your child time to heal from the loss. Grief is a process that happens over time. Be sure to have ongoing conversations to see how your child is feeling and doing. Healing doesn't mean forgetting about the loved one
Excerpt from: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/death.html
As always, if you have concerns about your child, or worries about the health and well-being of others, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school counselor, social worker or school psychologist.
Ms. Jennifer Dwyer
Principal, Gilmartin School