Run by the wonderful charity Grief Encounter, Children’s Grief Awareness Week UK starts today (it lines up with the US holiday of Thanksgiving, which is always a Thursday).
You can find out more about the campaign, links to useful resources (inlcuding some lesson plans if you’re an educator), and how you can support them here: http://www.childrensgriefawarenessweek.com/
44,000 children annually are bereaved of a parent in the UK.
1 child in every UK classroom has been bereaved of a parent or sibling.
Sadly, because of the pandemic situation, a lot more children will be going through situations of grief and loss this year.
Obviously, as you’ll know if you’ve read any of my blog, this is a subject close to my heart. Dealing with grief as an adult, with our supposedly mature emotions and coping mechanisms (healthy or otherwise) is difficult enough. Dealing with grief and loss as a child, when you have little or no understanding of what has happened, can’t manage your own emotions, and have practically no control over what goes on in your life, is almost impossible. Children need mature and loving adults around them who can keep the lines of communication open, and offer unconditional love at all times.
The theme for this year’s awareness week is #saythewords. They are encouraging children and adults to speak out about their experiences of bereavement, because the more we talk about death and how it affects us, the less awkward these conversations become, and the safer children feel about bringing it up.
My aim is to post something every day around the theme of #saythewords so as a starter, I wanted to flag up my post from a few months ago on the things I found helped Ethan grieve the loss of his Daddy: The Ultimate (not really) Guide to helping a small boy grieve .
Please share it with anyone you think it would help.
Much love always