Kids and Funerals

Rather than protect our children from grief, we should encourage them to experience it

My nine-year-old pal Martha has had a rough year. Her beloved maternal grandmother was killed by a drunk driver several months ago, and just two weeks ago, her paternal grandmother died after a long illness. The oldest of four kids, Martha is responsible and articulate. But she is still a young child, struggling with sadness and grief for the first time. Martha and her siblings have responded in line with their ages and temperaments, but all have experienced degrees of fear, anxiety and what their mother describes as "despair."

When children experience the death of a beloved relative or friend, or...

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