If you are reading this page because you have suffered the recent loss of a loved one, my heart goes out to you. This page contains a list of resources that might be useful to you.
Grieving is personal. We all have different ways of dealing and coping in our lives. For many, the experience is so intense that friends and family seem to "burn out" after a while, and sometimes we feel self-conscious going over the same ground over and over again.
Please consider these support groups and resources. Just take a look at them, and perhaps you might find one while will be of service to you or your family.
This page was initially put together for a friend of mine whose wife died, leaving two young children. So it starts with resources that you can use to discuss death with children, and to help children grieve.
Talking about death with children
Many people are continually asking how to discuss death with their children. I have seen several say that they know that kids don't really "get" death until they're in their teens,but this does not mean that they aren't profoundly affected by it, and by death's effect on their parents and family. In my opinion, it's good to familiarize yourself with how death might be perceived and processed by young children, and then take defensive steps to help your child process and learn to live with the loss.
Here's a discussion from medline about discussing death with preschoolers and young children. Talks about how death might be perceived by the children based upon developmental stage. Here's another discussion from the National Educational Organization about how death is perceived by children. Here's something called lessons of loss from the Unitarian church. It's a curriculum plan, but some of the points in it are good to remember.
Dealing with grief
There is an entire website called griefnet, which is directed by Cendra (ken'dra) Lynn, Ph.D., a clinical grief psychologist, death educator, and traumatologist who lives in Michigan, USA. Another site, called Beyond Indigo, says that it changes the way that you feel about grief and loss. One of the nice things about indigo is that they try to help you use actions and rituals to work through grief, and that they try to help you grow as you grieve. PsychCentral has mental health and psychology resources online. One of my readers sent in a link to griefcompanion.org, which is put together by a unique community-driven religious group called the Bruderhof. I just found a site called Gili's Place, written by therapist (and mother of Gili) Dr. Henya Shanun-Klein, whose daughter was struck down by a motorist at age 11. Gili's mom is a grief counselr and a PhD who has studied and written about the special kind of bereavement that a parent suffers.
When a child dies
Resilience and mental health
The concept of resilience is not always brought up within the context of death and dying, but resilience is a good thing to teach your children. There is a website called ResilienceNet which might be of use. Resilience.net, as described in the Medical page, is put out by extremely respected organizations (Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative, College of Education at the University of Illinois, and is funded by the Bernard van Leer Foundation. It contains "information for helping children and families overcome adversities." Here is information about Resilience.net. Another recommended site is the aboutourkids.org site from New York City. It's a childhood mental health and parenting site.
It's an Amazon link, so check out the associated books.
From Amazon's list series:
A list for someone dealing with a child's death. A list of thought-provoking books that help (referred by a physician)