Sunday, June 08, 2008

dealing with loss

This has been a difficult year personally. In the last five months, I have had three family members pass away. Two of them were very unexpected. One wasn't much older than I am. Living on a farm, we are in a never ending cycle of life and death, but my children had never faced the death of a family member or friend until now. It can be difficult to face that challenge, especially when you are trying to deal with your own grief over the loss. We have always approached the topic of death in a natural and open way, whether it was one of our beloved animals or just questions that may arise. I think this has made it easier for us to talk about the deaths of our loved ones better. Here are some things that have worked well for us.

  • Be honest and open when answering questions and discussing death. (even if the questions are difficult)

  • Answer questions in an age appropriate way. Younger children may not understand the permanence of death.

  • A funeral or other ritual can be helpful in dealing with the loss.

  • Our Christian faith has played an important part in the process.

  • Keep communication open for a long time. Dealing with a loss is not instantaneous , and questions may arise weeks or months after the loss.

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