pre natal diagnosis
47 hours with a prince
memorial service ideas
Helping Children to Grieve
Making yourself available to your children, answering their questions, mourning with them and reassuring them of your love are all crucial elements to helping your children navigate their grief journey. However, there are some other practical things you may be able to do to help your children process their loss. We are always looking for ideas and suggestions for this resource, so please feel free to email us any other suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Depending on the age of your other children, some of these ideas need to be altered or disregarded all together.
Give your kids a framed photo of their brother/sister or make up a little scrap book for them to keep. It is something special just for them to remind them of their sibling. For older girls, the idea of a locket is lovely although lockets can be quite pricey.
Draw a picture
This is a great idea especially for pre-school and primary school aged children. Buy a canvas (even just a low-cost one from an art warehouse) and ask them to draw a picture of the whole family together. Textas and oil pastels work really well. Allow them to choose where abouts in the house they would like to hang their picture (within reason of course). This part of the process allows them to place it in their room if they want to keep it just for themselves, or be able to show it off in pride of place to guests and visitors coming to the house. This will also give you an insight as to how your child feels about their loss.
Allow them to help plan a service
If you are planning to hold a memorial service for your baby, find ways that your child can be involved. It might be as simple as folding programmes, curling ribbon or choosing songs. Children love to help and be involved, and any way that you can include them in part of your world is wonderful.
Buy a special toy
A friend of ours gave a beautiful teddy bear for each of our children on the day of Esther’s funeral. It was only then I realised how important it was for my children to have something to cuddle. It’s a good idea to monitor your kids to make sure that they are not growing an unhealthy attachment to special toys, but it is a great idea for them to have something to cuddle when they can’t cuddle anyone else (e.g. in bed). For some other ideas for mementos, click here.
Make a cushion (we like the love-heart shape) and fill it with a mix of dried rice and cushion stuffing until it weighs the exact weight of the lost child (it’s a good idea to measure out the rice before making or buying a cushion cover so you can make something that is approximately the right size). This is particularly helpful for children who have had the opportunity to hold their baby brother or sister as it is a tangible reminder of what it felt like to hold them (good for grown-ups too). This is a wonderful hands-on project that kids of most ages can participate in to varying degrees. They can also decorate the cushion covers with fabrics and buttons of things that are important to them about their brother/sister. The photo at the top of the page is of my two children, Allison and Harry, holding their Esther cushions. They have been a huge hit!
Support Groups for Children
Get in touch with some fabulous organisations that provide support for greiving families and children here.