Monday, February 27, 2012

As Children Grieve from Nurse Together

Talking to children about death is never easy.

Often this is because we are caught up in our own grief over a particular loss. So often children are pushed aside during these times and their feelings are left unaddressed and thus, we send the message that their feelings are unimportant. This can start a life cycle in which they learn to repress their emotions. They can bury them under deep and dark covers because during their childhood encouragement was not offered for the free expression of their thoughts and feelings. When all that was needed and wanted was understanding and patience, comfort and acceptance, children are often ignored because it is easier. This is especially true when the adults are experiencing their own grief and loss.

The following message came to me in my sleep, as most of my writings do, and so when I awakened, it was fresh on my heart. I send it to you with love and respect.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you're correct, and it's good that you've shared that insight.

    Most people don't know that teenagers are not capable of expressing the tremendous grief right away. Because of that, generations of people have assumed that "kids just bounce back." It certainly looks that way when they're young. The problems occur years after the fact.

    Why would people know about it? No one wants to think about death, especially when children are involved. When it does happen, things come crashing down on everyone, and the adults are in their grief, which happens immediately.

    Those adults are not in a condition to seek out that kind of information because "common wisdom" asserts otherwise. That's why immediate family grief counseling/intervention would be helpful.

    As a young teenager, I lost my mother and first younger brother in a terrible collision. The experience culminated in my first book, "Mama's In Heaven -- But You Can Manage." Grace Monet is my pen name.

    My experience reinforced what some professionals perhaps knew in 1968; teens are not capable of reacting in the same way or the same time as adults. The reactions have to wait until the teen becomes an adult. That's a case of post-traumatic stress in the making.

    After my family's tragedy, most physical things were the same. We lived in the same house, went to the same school, etc. However, there was a new, sad and confusing backdrop to the whole scene. Because my strong reactions didn't appear, I was stuck, and watched the grief of the adults around me. I acted out with overeating.

    Typically, people don't want to think of the possibility of death. When it does happen in unexpected ways, no one really knows what to do after the funeral. The assumption is that "Life goes on." Yes, it does, but there are ways that things could be managed better, especially when young ones are involved.

    My views are summarized in my YouTube video: "Ping-Pong Demo for Troubled Teens," on the Grace Monet Channel.