Death and dying are a normal part of life and children need help in putting this part of life in perspective. They will have questions and you may not be able to answer them. Be as honest as possible without giving them too much information.
Responses to tragic events vary and may look very different depending on a child’s age
and development. One of the most important things to remember is to allow your child to grieve. Let them know that it is common to feel angry, frightened and confused. It is
okay to cry and it is also okay not to cry. Keep in mind that we all deal with grief differently and so do children.
In younger children, responses to sad and tragic events may include:
- a return to behaviors of a younger age (bed-wetting, fear of dark, etc.)
- difficulty concentrating
- changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- changes in typical behavior (clingy, tearful, etc.)
Grief responses in older children and adolescents include:
- loss of interest in routine activities
- withdrawal from peer group
- poor school performance
- increased worry and depression
- struggling with feelings of sadness, anger, despair and frustration
Grief is a process and it takes time. School counselors will be available to assist you and your child should you need additional support over the next few days.
Free community resources are also available:
Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas (210-736-HUGS)
Porter Loring Grief Support Services (210-227-8221),
United Way Help Line (211)