A recent tragedy has made me have flashbacks to my 8th grade year in junior high school. Unexpectedly, my childhood best friend was killed in a car accident. I was 13 at the time and had never lost anyone close to me. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to cope with such pain and emptiness and I can remember my parents not being able to soothe my broken heart.

I am not writing this blog to spark bad memories for others, I am hoping that it will somehow help parents who are faced with a similar circumstance. Obviously, everyone deals with grief in their own way, but it is something a young person struggles with on a much different level.

Encourage your child to talk about his or her feelings. Internalizing the loss doesn’t make it easier on them. I kept a journal of my thoughts and feelings. I was on an emotional roller coaster and just needed a silent outlet to express myself.  Years later, I was amazed looking back and seeing the journey I had made. As a result, I was a much stronger person.

Encourage your child to speak to their school resources (grief counselors, guidance counselors, teachers, etc.). If further counseling is needed to assist with the loss, perhaps a local minister or psychologist could help.

The only silver lining I found in the situation was it made me realize the importance of telling your loved ones how much you love them. Tomorrow is not promised! My best advice is to live well, laugh often and love much.

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5 Thoughts to “Coping”

  1. marie byrd

    This is a great post.

    So true. When my step-son passed away, Autumn was 8 at the time and she had three months prios had lost her best friend in an accident. So she had a double dose of horrific loss within a short time. We instantly took her to a grief couselor. Helped her and us tremendously. Another program they for children is a grief group. I can’t remember the name but the kids would meet once a week and do various activities and talk to one another which made the younger ones realize that they were in fact not alone in their confusing feelings!

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  3. such a touching post. grief is so hard…and so personal and individual. Everyone copes (or not) in different and unique ways. We have lost too many and learned that lesson all too well. My heart goes to you, my friend.


    Love this post-it is very hard for someone especially a young person to reveal their feelings when losing someone close to them-it is hard for a grown up let alone a child-I agree they need to talk to someone they are close to and share their feelings- alot has to do with the way they want to accept the fact that person is gone and hopefully will understand that it will be ok. Life is too short-express your feelings to people you love now and often-I love you can not be said enough.

  5. Debbie

    Thank you for blogging about this. This is one topic that so many people avoid with their children. My cousin refuses to talk to her children about death and doesn’t take them to funerals, etc.

    When my father was sick for 3 months last year before he passed, I talked to my then 8 year old daughter, Sarah, about almost everything. I didn’t share the times he coded, etc. I also emailed her principal, guidence counsler, and teacher. They all worked with her and gave her a little extra attention because they knew my time was filled with going to the hospital. I had been criticized about how much I had talked with Sarah about Dad. However, I ignored it, especially after the guidence counsler emailed me and said “We had a very good visit today and I feel she is doing very, very well. She has begun to miss you but understands that MaMa needs you too.
    She is such a dear child. I thoroughly enjoy being able to help her express herself. She loves to explain everything and knows that whatever she does not understand she can talk to you about.
    You have obviously done a beautiful job.”

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