When you are faced with the death of someone you love, it is natural to struggle when coping with your emotions. You may feel distressed, shaken, and preoccupied. You might also seek isolation to cope with your own grief. But if you have children, remember that — perhaps more than ever — they need your support at this time. Their presence is a good reminder of the important people in your life that make it beautiful.
GRIEF IN CHILDREN
Depending on the age and the maturity level of a child, their reaction to the death of a loved one varies. As a child ages and matures, there will be times when they will revisit the memory of losing a loved one. It is important that you provide support during this difficult time.
For you to have a clearer picture of how children feel and react to the loss of someone who’s been a significant part of their life, we’ve provided an overview based on their age.
INFANTS AND TODDLERS
Do not underestimate the ability of infants and toddlers to feel a loss. Although they might still not have the ability to understand what’s going on, they can comprehend loss through the absence of someone they’ve gotten used to spending intimate times with, through an interruption to their usual routine, and through the stress and grief they sense from their parents and the people around them. To help a child at this age cope with this situation, double your efforts in cuddling and holding them — this helps give a feeling of security and love despite the absence of someone.
Children at this age might have difficulties differentiating reality from fantasy, and even more so, the permanence of death. You might feel that using euphemisms to explain the situation to your child may be helpful, but that is not the case. Using terms such as “gone away,” “sleeping,” or “lost” might confuse your young child and could give them fears or negative thoughts. For example, if a young child is told that a deceased loved one has “gone away,” it might make him/her feel abandoned or rejected. A young child might also think that it’s probably his/her fault. If you tell them that the person in the casket is only “sleeping,” they might have fears about not waking up again when they sleep at night. When talking to your child about the death of a loved one, it is best to be honest and use simple and direct words that they can understand.
At this stage, children are more likely to understand abstract concepts such as death. They are also at a point when they have more knowledge about how the body works, so be prepared with specific questions they might have. It is very important that your answers are always factual and specific. They might also be more vulnerable and insecure at this time because, aside from the death of a loved one, they are also going through a lot of changes — so give them sufficient opportunities to have conversations with you so they can express their feelings of pain and grief.
Because of their growing independence, teenagers usually feel the need to keep their feelings of grief to themselves to show the people around them that they’re grown up and can control how they feel. But because this is most often not the case, they are more likely to engage in high-risk behavior because they are unable to properly express their feelings, especially after the death of a loved one. Although they might feel more comfortable talking to their peers and friends, do not feel disappointed. If anything, this will help them open up their feelings and will make way for healing. This doesn’t mean that you no longer talk to them. Create opportunities where you can talk about the loss, listen to their concerns, empathize with them, and assure them that you are there to help them cope.
While you might feel it will be helpful to hide your grief to protect your child, a lot of people have found that being honest about their sorrow is better. It helps their children see that grieving is natural, normal, and healing. Being able to talk about the deceased person, especially the positive qualities of the person, may make way for faster healing.
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Despite the impact of the current coronavirus crisis and the profound disruption it has caused to our daily lives, please know that this firm remains committed to helping families, relatives and friends say farewell to their loved ones as meaningfully as possible.
To that end, Beverly Ridge Funeral Home has taken the following steps to balance the needs of mourners and guests with the recommended precautions communicated to us by the CDC.
· We routinely perform environmental cleaning/sanitizing throughout our facility – especially frequently touched surfaces.
· We provide disposable sanitizing wipes throughout to clean surfaces before/after touching them.
· We provide CDC recommended hand sanitizers throughout our facility.
· We ask our staff to follow social-distancing guidelines and to stay home if feeling sick.
How You Can Help Today
· Foremost if you have a fever, experience a persistent cough, and/or have difficulty breathing, then please do not attend and consult your physician.
· Wash your hands frequently and/or use a provided hand sanitizer.
· Sneeze or cough into a tissue and immediately toss the used tissue into a trash receptacle.
· Follow social-distancing guidelines:
o Do not kiss, hug or shake hands with others.
o Remain at least six feet from others at all times.
Please know that while the CDC has said there is no COVID-19 risk posed by the body of someone who has died, it is recommended to not touch, kiss or have direct contact with the body of your loved one.
Keeping the Faith - Beverly Ridge Funeral Home is here to provide services to you and your family in this time of emergency, it is still necessary to conduct the rites and rituals to honor and remember your beloved during these challenging times. Therefore, despite the difficulties we now face, both personally and professional, never doubt that, together, we will all get through this.