These organizations give children hope that “it won’t always hurt so bad.”
Grief can bring adults to their knees. Imagine then the struggle of the one of every 20 children who will experience the death of a parent before they graduate high school. That number doesn’t include those who experience the death of a close family member or friend.
Children grieve differently, and they need support. These organizations are stepping in to help.
Children’s Grief Awareness Day
Inaugurated in 2008, this movement aims to teach everyone that “even if there is no outward sign of inner turmoil” the storms of grief “can still be raging inside a grieving child’s heart.” Support their efforts by wearing blue and or posting a pic of yourself “holding onto HOPE” on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the hashtag #CGADHope.
National Alliance for Grieving Children
This organization strives to raise awareness about children’s grief by ensuring caregiving professionals are certified and able to provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive services available. Help them promote Children’s Grief Awareness Month and send messages of hope throughout November with the hashtag #ChildrenGrieve
National Funeral Directors Association
A child’s pain touches a chord in everyone, even those accustomed to dealing with loss. That’s why the National Funeral Directors Association created a list of resources designed to help grieving children and teens. Caregivers can read more about the nature of grief here.
Funeral Service Foundation
The Funeral Service Foundation seeks to improve end-of-life experience for families and their loved ones by supporting funeral service providers in building meaningful relationships with the families and the communities they serve. In collaboration with bereavement experts the Foundation has created a booklet, ebook, and video to help families and caregivers understand the important role funerals and memorials play in the lives of youth.
Children’s Grief Connection
Based in Minnesota, this organization brings a wholistic approach to supporting children’s grief by involving the entire family in the process. Their Hearts of Hope Family Grief Camps provides a safe haven and age-specific treatment for each member of a grieving family. Caregivers who want to help can find resources in the Grief Companions program. And when tragedy comes to a school or town or business, their Grieving Communities initiative helps the whole community come together as they struggle with a tremendous loss.
Comfort Zone Camp
With locations across the country, this camp provides grieving children with a haven to experience their loss amongst understanding peers and fosters a lifelong connection to those who understand their loss and can help them on the journey. Share pictures of yourself wearing blue and send messages of support with the tags #ChildrensGriefAwareness and #comfortzonecamp.
“When it seems like the whole world has lost its mind, remember there is this place where connection matters more than difference.” This might as well be the official motto of Experience Camp, whose multiple regional locations help children throughout the United States connect with fellow grievers in a safe space where they can be themselves.
Sesame Street in Communities: Helping Kids Grieve
Sesame Street knows how to handle the tough parts of childhood, and they’ve brought their expertise and trademark gentleness to the topic of children’s grief with a 365-degree array of resources. Children can watch videos on how to handle their grief, journal about their emotions, or just draw out the feeling that they can’t express in words. Parents, caregivers, and service professional will find invaluable articles on noticing signs of child stress, helping children to manage and express their emotions, and tips for how to help children as they move through their grief.
The Shared Grief Project
This group want to see a world where “no child grieves alone.” Using first-person accounts of grief journeys by well-known figures, their video collections provides children with a much-needed perspective that there’s hope for life after loss.
Are you 13 or older and you’ve lost a parent? Legacy’s Grief Group is here for you: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LegacyLossOfAParent/about/