How to Deal with the Death of a Loved One
Ten year old Michael Lewis, shares valuable insight for middle schoolers about grief and loss. He shares things he did to cope with the death of his Dad in order bo help children his own age process their grief. Written in Michaels own words, this information on coping is written to children by a child.
By Michael Lewis
Have you ever had a parent, Grandma, Grandpa or any person that you love die? When your loved one dies you might not know how to deal with it. Well I can teach you ways to remember your loved one and how to deal with the death of this special person.
The First Day Without Your Loved One
When your loved one dies do you wonder what the first day will be like? Well my dad died and I have experienced the first day. It pretty much goes like this: you do not get a lot of sleep, you do not go to school or work, you laugh and cry a lot, and all of your activities are canceled. You visit with your family all day (they do everything for you.) Guess what-you don’t have to cook for 3 to 3-1/2 months. You don’t have to cook because people bring lots and lots of dinner, lunch, and breakfast for you. Ask questions about what you don’t understand. Hopefully, your remaining parent or loved one will be honest with you about what is going on.
So if you lose a loved one, you now know what the first day will be like.
Visitation is when all your family and friends come to tell you they’re sorry for your loss. They hug you, and kiss you and they tell you to call you when ever you need something. Before visitation, ask what you should expect when you get there.
Did you know that you can start healing when visitation comes? How you can start healing at visitation is, you can put up poster boards with pictures of your loved one. When you are putting pictures on the poster board you can look at the pictures and remember happy, fun and sad times you had with this loved one.
One other way you can start healing at visitation is you can have a memory box. If you have a memory box you need to provide paper and pencil and have people to put in memories in a memory box you can read some of the memories that other people had with your loved one. So now you know how you can start healing at visitation.
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you what you can also start healing at the funeral. Here are some ways you can start healing from the funeral. When one of your special person’s friends is speaking during the funeral and they are telling stories about your loved one you can laugh at the funny stories. That can really help you heal. How that can help you heal is when you are feeling sad about your loved one you can remember some of the funny stories that your loved one’s friends shared at the funeral.
Getting Back to Normal
No you know how you can start healing from the death of your loved one at visitation and the funeral. But you must know after your loved one dies, you have to get back to normal.
So here are some ways to get back to normal. It is hard at first but time heals and it does get better! Continue praying every night. Even though you are shocked about your loved ones death, it is still very important to pray every night.
One other very important thing you have to do when you are getting back to normal is getting back to your normal routine. That is very important. That can help you deal with the death of your loved one because when you are playing sports again, or if you are working again you can get your mind off your sad feelings. When you are doing your normal routine, you can know that your loved one is always with you in your heart. So now you know that getting back to normal is a very important thing to do.
Neat ideas to help you remember your loved one
I’d like to share with you some neat ideas to remember your loved one. One neat idea is, you can make a photo album. You can put fun memories of your loved one in it. When you are feeling down you can open your photo album and look at the fun memories you had with your loved one. A second neat idea is, you can make a t-shirt with your loved one’s picture on it. So if you need a good t-shirt to wear just get that shirt and put it on. When you put that on you are wearing your loved one’s picture around the world. A third neat idea is, you could put all of your video tapes together on one DVD. When you need to see a happy face just put in that DVD and it will make you smile with great memories. So if you need some ideas to remember your loved one. I hope you will take some of these ideas.
So now you know what the first day will be like, how and when you can start healing, the first few days after the death, and how important it is to get back to normal. You also heard some neat ideas to help your remember your loved one. Losing someone special is never easy but I hope you learned a lot on how to deal with the death of a parent or any loved one.
The Grieving Child. Helen Fitzgerald. Simon and Schuster. 1992.
Helping Children Cope with Illness and Death of a Loved One. Ferry, Joe. Boston, Barbara. Hospice of Louisville. 1997