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How to Help Children Cope with Death

I’m at the computer for therapy as well as to search for clues on how to help children cope with death. The signs are there, the appetite is failing, the meds have obliterated that cutting wit and at times over the top but always entertaining personality.

As far as I’m concerned, the stages of grief kicked off for me between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I give thanks to the Lord every night (and during the day when I can’t stop my mind from drifting in that direction) that it wasn’t in his plan to take her to be with him during that time and that we were given one more holiday season where we were once again shamed by her acute sense of knowing what the perfect gift for each and every child might be.

Now, I’m fielding requests from the kids wanting to know why I’m going to visit and they aren’t included. After telling them that the reason is that she’s in the hospital, their reaction was that she needed their comfort and company even more so than when she was at home. I’m at a lost as to how to help the children cope with death since coping with death is not something that I’m so very good at myself.

Maybe the way to cope is not to cope at all, but just to do what we can do to stay busy and productive. Making kids feel productive is a pretty tall order. They want to feel that they are doing something to help. The oldest said she wanted to make cookies so I picked up a tube of chocolate chip cookie dough and let her slice them and put them on the cookie sheet. I suggested to the littlest one that it might be a good idea to draw a picture for me to decorate the walls of the hospital room and as I’m typing she’s enthusiastically drawing a picture of a purple cat because according to her, purple is such a happy color.

If purple kitty cats and burned cookies are helping the children cope with death who am I to question the results?

Return to Oooh Baby Baby Parenting and Environmental Issues to read more of my learning experiences in dealing with what life throws at you while raising kids.