Childhood bereavement is a critical issue and an increasingly important national priority. The death of a parent, sibling, or other important person in a child’s life is one of the most frequently reported disruptive childhood experiences, and without appropriate support, can lead to adverse health and welfare outcomes. Understanding the number of children impacted by death is essential to help every bereaved child find hope and healing.
For national data, visit the NACG website.
About Childhood Grief
The death of a family member, friend or other significant person is a lifelong loss for children. It is normal for children to miss the person who died and to experience grief that might come and go with different levels of intensity for some time after the death. It can be challenging to parents and caregivers to know what to do for, what to say to and how to help children who are obviously hurting.
The NACG’s resource, About Childhood Grief, offers a few suggestions about how to be helpful to a grieving child based on research and practice among children’s grief support professionals and volunteers. It is important to note that grief reactions in children are varied, wide ranging and unique to each individual. The following suggestions will help guide you as you seek to be provide understanding and compassion to children living with grief.