Dealing with the death of a loved one is crushing, the findings show. Three-quarters (75%) of the kids surveyed say they are currently sad -- even though, for the survey sample, the loss was experienced on average more than two years ago. Nearly seven of 10 kids agree the death of their loved one was the worst thing that ever happened to them. More than two in five (41 percent) said that in reaction to their loss they had acted in ways that they knew might not be good for them either physically, emotionally or mentally.
"The death of a loved one is incredibly hard and isolating for children," said Chris Park, president of the New York Life Foundation. "It engenders sadness, anger, loneliness, confusion, guilt -- emotions that all too often are suffered in isolation. Kids in grief are trying hard to cope and heal, but it's clear that they desperately need our help to do so.
"But we are a grief-averse society, apparently hoping that if we just ignore grief, it will go away," Park said. "As a result, families in grief -- children in particular -- often are left to suffer alone and in silence, without sufficient understanding and support from the people and institutions that could truly make a difference for them."
Hospice Foundation of America is a leader in offering programs to aid bereavement professionals and clinicians in supporting children and adolescents cope with grief and loss. Previous webinars topics have included: Bereaved Children and Adolescents: Lessons from Research; Grieving Children and Adolescents: The Role of Internet Support; and Bereavement Camps for Kids: Benefits and Challenges.
Join HFA for our upcoming Lunch 'n Learn program on May 9th, Grieving Children: How You Can Help.
Available May 9, 2012, 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET
Board Approvals | Register ($35 individual, $85 organization)
Ken Doka, PhD, MDiv, is Professor of Gerontology at the Graduate School of The College of New Rochelle, and Senior Consultant to the Hospice Foundation of America. A prolific author and editor, Dr. Doka serves as editor of HFA’s Living with Grief® book series, its Journeys newsletter, and numerous other books and publications. In addition, Dr. Doka has served as a panelist on HFA’s Living with Grief® teleconference programs for 18 years.
David A. Crenshaw, PhD. is a licensed psychologist, Board Certified in Clinical Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), and Fellow of the Academy of Clinical Psychology. He is a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor by the Association of Play Therapy and Cop-Founder and current President of the New York Association for Play Therapy. Dr. Crenshaw is the author of several books.
Pamela Gabbay, MA, FT, is the Director of Mourning Star Centers and Programs in Palm Desert, California and Camp Director for Camp Erin - Palm Springs. Ms. Gabbay is on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Grieving Children. She is a contributing author at Open to Hope. Ms. Gabbay was awarded the Fellow in Thanatology by the Association for Death Education and Counseling.
HFA also makes chapters from its Living with Grief: Children and Adolescents book available for individual sale. Chapters include:
- Grieving Children and Adolescents: Lessons from the Harvard Child Bereavement Study
- When a Parent Dies: Helping Grieving Children and Adolescents
- Sibling Loss: Issues for Children and Adolescents, Grief Groups for Grieving Children and Adolescents
- Play Therapy to Help Bereaved Children
- The Power of Ritual: A Gift for Children and Adolescents
- Grieving Adolescents: The Paradox of Using Technology for Support