The City Hall clock tower shone blue last night in recognition of National Children’s Grief Awareness Day.
The day is recognized annually on the third Thursday in November, and highlights that fact that children feel grief over losses too.
Brenda Zinn, clinical counselor with Balance – Holistic Counselling, says children, like adults, need to be given the space to experience their grief. “It’s important to be honest with them and use age-appropriate language and encourage them to ask any questions that they may have. Let them know that feeling sad, angry or confused is okay, and it’s a natural part of the grieving process.”
She says that talking, drawing, or sharing stories can provide opportunities for children to grieve. Nightmares or fluctuating emotions may be seen as they move through their grief.
Sometimes the impacts of loss on children can be missed. “We often times get so caught up in our own grieving process, or all those tasks that we have to do, that society says we need to do, that sometimes in the midst of that, we forget about our children and their grief stages,” said Zinn.
If your children are struggling with grief after loss, you can contact a counselor to help, call 211 for advice, or visit the Children and Youth Grief Network website.
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