When a loved one dies, the ensuing grief can be overwhelming, no matter what age you are. Kids are particularly sensitive to grief, and many adults don’t know how to support children facing a difficult loss. At Farenga Family of Funeral Homes, our experienced staff has helped multiple families with children in Queens and Astoria navigate the grief journey. We’re here to debunk some common myths about kids and grief to help families better understand how younger people process the death of a loved one.
Myth #1: Kids shouldn’t attend funerals.
In some scenarios, this myth may prove true. Some children, especially the very young, may prefer to stay home during a funeral, while older children may feel left out of family rituals. Ask the child if they’d like to attend the funeral and if necessary, explain what happens at a funeral so they’ll know what to expect.
Myth #2: Kids recover quickly from grief.
Many adults tend to believe children are resilient and bounce back quickly from difficult life events like the death of a loved one. In reality, children can be deeply affected by grief. As they continue to grow older and mature, they may need to process their grief all over again. Talk to them about their grief and periodically check in with them about how they’re feeling.
Myth #3: It’s best to stay quiet about death and grief around kids.
Most children benefit from seeing adults in their life grieving a loss. Try to model a healthy awareness of your grief and expression of your emotions for the child. This will inspire children to openly share how they feel and instill in them a healthy acceptance of death and difficult life situations.
Myth #4: Kids won’t notice your grief.
Kids are clever beings, even at a very young age. You may think your child doesn’t notice your tears or the heaviness that entered your voice after your loved one died, but they are likely aware of the changes that have happened since a heavy loss. Ask them if they’d like to talk about death and if so, speak openly with them about it. They’ll have more understanding about death, and you’ll likely feel more at peace about the topic.
If you or your children need grief support or help planning a funeral for a loved one, contact our compassionate team. We are here 24/7 to help with whatever you need, whether it’s a reference to a grief counselor, a support group, or something else.