One child out of every 20 will have a parent die before graduating from high school, according to the US Census, and it’s estimated that one of every seven will experience the death of a parent or sibling before age 20, according to a recent New York Life Foundation/NAGC survey of children and teenagers. As a culture, we are often quick to dismiss or downplay the needs of children and teens in mourning; as a result, their emotions are often misunderstood.
Children’s Grief Awareness Day takes place November 19, and it is an opportunity to consider the unique needs of these children and teens. To mark the day, we will be wearing blue at The Children’s Room, and we have shaded our Facebook and Twitter profiles blue, and we encourage you to do the same.
One of the greatest needs of a child or teen experiencing the grief that comes with the death of a parent or sibling is a safe place in which they can express what they’re experiencing without fear of judgment or fear that they will be told how they should be feeling. At The Children’s Room, we work to create a space in which no child or teen feels isolated or alone in their grief, as they might feel at home or at school.
By honoring Children’s Grief Awareness Day, we can create a world in which death and grieving is integrated into our lives as a normal life event, and in such a way that leads to greater compassion, hope, and growth.
To learn more about how best to talk to children about death and dying, we encourage you to listen to this Arlington Public News audio interview with TCR Education Director, Deborah Rivlin. You can also check out these resources.
Don’t forget to wear blue on November 19
and show your support for Children’s Grief Awareness Day!
Together, we are creating a world in which no child, teen, or family has to grieve alone.