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Helping Your Child Cope With Grief

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Helping Your Child Cope With Grief Presented By: Jack Goga Steve Symans Jessica Moon Deborah Hamilton The Elephant In The Room By: Terri Kettering There's an elephant ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Helping Your Child Cope With Grief


1
Helping Your Child Cope With Grief
  • Presented By
  • Jack Goga
  • Steve Symans
  • Jessica Moon
  • Deborah Hamilton

2
The Elephant In The RoomBy Terri Kettering
  • There's an elephant in the room.It is
    large and squatting, so it is hard to get around
    it.Yet we squeeze by with "How are you?" and
    "I'm fine" ...
  • And a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.We
    talk about the weather.We talk about work.We
    talk about everything else -except the elephant
    in the room.
  • There's an elephant in the room.We all
    know it is there.We are thinking about the
    elephant as we talk together.It is constantly on
    our minds.For, you see, it is a very big
    elephant.It has hurt us all.
  • But we do not talk about the elephant in the
    room.Oh, please say his name.Oh, please say
    Matt" again.
  • Oh, please, let's talk about the elephant
    in the room.For if we talk about her
    death,Perhaps we can talk about his life.Can I
    say Matt" to you and not have you look away?For
    if I cannot, then you are leaving meAlone ...
  • In a room ...With an elephant.

3
What is Grief?????
  • Is a response to loss
  • Has many components including
  • Physical
  • Behavioral
  • Social

4
Grief reactions To Suicide Similar but
different...
Similar to loss due to any sudden or violent
death Often compromises usual mourning
rituals Expect a 4-7 year recovery period Death
is usually sudden and unexpected Leaves
unfinished business - no closure No
control Often leaves a violent death
scene Scene is a crime scene Media involvement
Taken from presentation by Clark, Thompson,
Welzant (ICISF)
5
Stages of Grief Kubler-Ross
Shock stage Initial paralysis at hearing the bad
news. Denial stage Trying to avoid the
inevitable. Anger stage Frustrated outpouring
of bottled-up emotion. Bargaining stage
Seeking in vain for a way out. Depression
stage Final realization of the
inevitable. Testing stage Seeking realistic
solutions. Acceptance stage Finally finding
the way forward.
6
Acceptance Stage of Grief
  • This could take a very long time
  • Can jump all over the stages (not necessarily in
    progressive order).
  • Grief after a suicide can take longer to accept
    compared to other forms of death

7
Definition of a Suicide Survivor
  • Family members and others who survive following
    the death of their loved one by suicide
  • Suicide survivors include spouses, significant
    others, parents, children, grandparents, aunts,
    uncles, cousins, friends, co-workers, classmates,
    etc.

Taken from presentation by Clark, Thompson,
Welzant (ICISF)
8
Survivor Reactions
  • Shock
  • Numbness
  • Denial of death
  • Denial of death as a Suicide
  • Religious concerns
  • Prolonged search for Why??
  • Fear of personal susceptibility

Taken from presentation by Clark, Thompson,
Welzant (ICISF)
9
Survivor ReactionsEmotional
  • Shame
  • Guilt (shoulda, coulda, woulda)
  • Responsibility
  • Blaming
  • Scapegoating
  • Abandonment
  • Anger

Taken from presentation by Clark, Thompson,
Welzant (ICISF)
10
Helping SurvivorsLet them talk
  • Use deceaseds name
  • Begin ASAP
  • Repetition part of healing
  • Be active listener
  • Listen without judgment
  • Encourage positive and negative memories

Taken from presentation by Clark, Thompson,
Welzant (ICISF)
11
Advice For Parents
  • This may be your childs first experience with
    death
  • Read about grief process
  • Talk with other bereaved parents
  • Talk with significant other
  • Accept that genders grieve differently
  • Be aware of special dates (events, birthdays,
    events, holidays, anniversaries, etc)
  • Find the balance between being caring and
    overbearing
  • Take care of your own emotional well being
  • Know when to reach out for help (for your child
    or yourself)
  • Take one day at a time

Taken from presentation by Clark, Thompson,
Welzant (ICISF)
12
When Talking With Your Kids
  • Offer understanding empathy
  • Dont try to answer why question directly.
    Better to say, we wish we could answer that
    question, but we cannot.
  • Deal with issues as they arise. Do not borrow
    trouble!!!!!
  • It is ok to start the conversation with your kids

Taken from presentation by Clark, Thompson,
Welzant (ICISF)
13
And When They Wont Talk
  • Relax, this is normal
  • Let them know you care and are thinking about
    them (it is ok to let them know you are
    concerned)
  • Reassure them everyday that things are going to
    get better and that it is ok to feel better (they
    may act like they are not listening, but they
    are)
  • Remind them that drugs and alcohol are not a
    positive coping mechanism
  • Allow them to spend time with their friends
  • Also Remind your child that it is OK to Ask 4
    Help!

14
Suggested Reading
  • Living When A Young Friend Commits Suicide Or
    Even Start Talking About it. By Grollman and
    Malikow (1999)
  • Straight Talk about Death For Teenagers. How to
    Cope with Losing Someone You Love. By Grollman
  • Teen Suicide A Book For Friends, Family, and
    Classmates. By Kolehmainen and Handwerk (1986)
  • After Suicide Loss Coping With Your Grief. By
    Baugher and Jordon (2002)
  • Andrew, You Died Too Soon. By Chilstrom (1993)
  • Coping With Suicide. By Helen (2002)
  • Helping Children Cope With Grief. By Wolfelt
    (1983)
  • Stronger Than Death When Suicide Touches Your
    Life. By Chance (1992)
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