Hello from beautiful Montana;
Do children, adolescents, and young people experience loss differently than adults? Do they mourn the loss of a pet the same way they would grieve the loss of a grandparent or sibling? Do they bounce back from a significant loss as easily as the adults around them previously thought?
What is Grief, Mourning and Bereavement?
Each social scientist and author have a different vocabulary when it comes to the emotions experienced with a significant loss. Children, adolescents and adults also have names for the emotional roller coaster they are on.
Feelings of loss and separation are a prominent part of most grief cycle. It is very common to experience pain, sadness, anger, bewilderment and many other far reaching emotions.
In addition to the feelings that come in a wide range of reactions and in varying degrees of intensity during grief, the child may react out physically.
It is not unusual for many bereaved persons to experience confusion, inability to focus at school or home, lack of energy and wanting to sleep more than usual. Other physical signs may be a lump in the throat, pain in the belly, headaches, upsetting dreams, getting in fights with friends or withdrawing from friends in general.
Loss and Grief
Children, Adolescents and young people do indeed grief the loss of pets, people, places and all other losses that they will encounter in their lives. They need support, kindness and understanding as they process what has happened and what it will mean to them in their lives.
Need Kind and Loving Adults
Everyone who has ever suffered a loss looks for ways to understand what has happened and how it will impact them. Children and Adolescents may not have the skills to ask for assistance or help. Older people may assume the children are coping, when they actually desperately need assurance and answers.
If you are in a position to share time listening to a child or adolescent who has gone through a loss, it will be a wonderful act of service. You will have the opportunity to reassure them about life, loss and the importance of remembering with love.
Thank you for being a part of this community of kind, thoughtful people who want to work together to raise children to be respectful and understanding of all.