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Listen with your heart, not your head. Allow your child to
express all emotions without judgment, criticism or analysis.
Recognize that grief is emotional, not intellectual. Avoid the
trap of asking your child what is wrong, because he or she will
automatically say “nothing.”
You are the adult-Go first. Tell the truth about your own
grief. This will make it safe for your child to open up, too. If
you are not directly affected by the loss that has affected your
child, remember and tell of a similar or parallel loss in your
life, but no comparisons!
Remember that each child is unique and each has a unique
relationship to the loss event.
Be patient. Don’t force them to talk.
Never say “Don’t feel sad” or “Don’t feel scared.” Sadness
and fear, the two most normal feelings attached to loss of any
kind, are essential to being human.
Book Recommended: “When Children Grieve”
by John James and Russell Friedman
TIPS TO HELP THE YOUNG GRIEVERS IN YOUR LIFE
TIPS TO HELP ALL GRIEVERS IN YOUR LIFE
Recognize the Six Myths about Grief
Don’t Feel Bad
Replace The Loss
Be Strong – Be Strong for Others
Time Heals all Wounds
Things HELPFUL to Say to Someone Grieving:
*I can’t imagine how you feel.
*I can’t imagine how painful (or devastating)
(or heartbreaking) this must be for you.
*What was your relationship like?
*Could you tell me about it?
*I’m sorry for your loss.
*I’ll keep you in my prayers.
*I can empathize with your pain,
but I could never know exactly how you feel.
(regardless of whether you have experienced a similar loss)
*Honestly I don't know what to say, but may I give you a hug.
Things HURTFUL to Say to Someone Grieving:
(The following may be intellectually true, but emotionally not true
and not helpful to say, especially when the loss is recent. These
are things we have all grown up being taught and modeled to say,
but these things are emotionally not helpful. Healing from grief is
an emotional,not an intellectual, process.)
*I know how you feel
(even if you have experienced a similar loss)
*Be strong for…
*Be grateful you had them so long or be grateful for…
*He or she had a full life
*It was God’s will
*You should be over it by now
*It just takes time
Things HELPFUL to DO:
*Remember anniversary dates
and special dates significant to the loss.
*Send cards, call, send/bring care packages,
and take them to lunch or dinner,
especially in the weeks, months
and year following the loss.
*Follow through on what you say you will do.
My Grief Recovery® Program was Started and is Facilitated
In Loving Memory of
My Father, Gene Carney
and My Cousin and Sister-in-Heart,
Julie Staser Grantz
Please contact me if you have any questions at: (812) 949-4900
The Grief Recovery® program is affiliated with and endorsed by The Grief Recovery Institute.
This format has been developed by Russell P. Friedman, Executive Director, and John W. James,
Founder of the Grief Recovery Institute, and authors of
The Grief Recovery Handbook—The Action Program For Moving Beyond Death, Divorce and Other Losses.
Grief Recovery® is a registered trademark of the Grief Recovery Institute.