Don’t Forget: The Children Grieve Too

Don’t Forget: The Children Grieve Too

Maya Radcliffe (12th), Reporter

“Grief, no matter where it comes from, can only be resolved by connecting to other people,” (Horn, Thomas).

Most of us cannot comprehend grief and struggle to provide comfort for those in the midst of it. Contrary to popular belief, there is no set cycle that takes place and no precise time can be allotted for the stages of mourning. The public preaches that every person is unique, so how can one expect everyone to act the same in the face of loss?

Possibly the hardest group to support in grief is children because no one can say for certain how they feel, or if they even understand what is going on around them. By the time they reach high school graduation, one in every twenty children will have a parent pass away and even more will experience the loss of a sibling, a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle.

Children’s Grief Awareness Day was founded in 2008 by the Highmark Caring Place. Its creation was the product of the effort of young students in Pennsylvania, who saw their classmates trying to cope with the death of loved ones and partnered with Caring Place to bring to light the pain felt by youth. The day was set to take place every third Thursday of November, the week before Thanksgiving. The easiest way to participate is to wear blue to spread awareness for grieving children.

Turlock’s own grief support center, Jessica’s House, located at 741 East Main Street, plans to hold an open house for this year’s event on November 17th, from seven to ten in the morning. There will be an espresso bar, breakfast options, raffle prizes, and tours of the house for all who come. Blue T-shirts will also be available for purchase.

As a volunteer at Jessica’s House, I have personally seen the effects death has on children, and have come to realize that there is no right thing to say to them. They do not need advice, they just need someone to listen without judgement, and spend time with them.

In their recent press release, Jessica’s House laid out the details of their upcoming event, and explained why they believe this day is so important to the youth.

“Children’s Grief Awareness Day is an opportunity to tell children they are not forgotten and there is support, hope, and healing to be found.”