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Grief Resources for Children



Our WINGS in 3G Program

The journey from grief to hope and joy is not easy, it is not fast, and it is not linear.  Talking helps.  Broken flower pots help.  Knowing there are others who have walked this same road helps.  

Click on Jaycee's picture (to the left) to see how the WINGs program can impact the lives of grieving children. The WINGs program for children and teens is free of charge to participants and open to any family grieving a loss, not just families served by Hospice of East Texas. Click to learn more about our WINGS in 3G Program.

Helping Children Cope with Loss

When a loved one dies, it can be difficult to know how to help kids cope with the loss, particularly as you work through your own grief. By being open and honest, encouraging communication, and sharing your own feelings, you and your children cope with painful times and begin your healing journey together.


Childhood and Grief

A child's ability to understand death varies according to his or her age.

Infants and Toddlers feel a loss through the absence of a loved one, interruption in their regular routine, and through the grief and stress they sense in their parents or other family members. Make sure to spend extra time holding and cuddling the child, and try to keep them on a regular schedule as much as possible.

Younger children might have trouble understanding the permanence of death or differentiating between fantasy and reality. They also might believe the death of a loved one is a form of punishment for something the child did. When you talk to young children about death, make sure to use concrete language, avoid euphemisms, and reassure the child that the death is not a consequence of something he or she did.

Older children are beginning to understand the permanence of death, and might associate it with old age or personify it in terms of frightening images or a cartoonish boogeyman. They often know more about how the body works, and have more specific questions. It's important to answer their questions to the best of your ability, and provide as much specific, factual information as possible. Try to keep them to regular routines, and give them opportunities for the constructive venting of feelings and grief.


Tips for Talking to Children about Death

When Families Grieveā„¢
This guide was created by Sesame Workshop, the educational organization behind Sesame Street. It explores children's understanding of death and offers information about communicating, ideas for coping together, and ways to move forward with your children after a loss.

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Helpful Children's Books
This list recommends children's books that deal with death and grief. These easy-to-read stories can open up a meaningful discussion between you and your child, and help children make sense of their feelings and understand what they're experiencing.

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