#theforeverkid #blogtour #booksontour #day8
Dealing with Grief by Elizabeth Mary Cummings
Understanding, and coping with grief is something that Elizabeth thoroughly researched when seeking families with experience of losing a child. Here, Elizabeth shares her findings into helping grief and loss become a positive opportunity.
The story, The Forever Kid, is the story about grief and remembrance; not the usual topics for a picture book. Nevertheless this topic is one many topics within the realm of family mental health that as a society we are coming to learn cannot be left unspoken about if there is to be hope for healing from mental illness and acceptance of those dealing with such major matters. So I strongly believe that there does need to be meaningful conversations around this area to support not only those going through tough times, but to support those caring for them and directly involved with them.
In dealing with grief there is more of an understanding that this is complex and that does not go away once time passes. For those who have suffered loss, grieving is a process but it is also a state in which they live after the initial loss. This doesn’t mean it is always openly visible but it is still there. Speaking to those who have suffered loss and reflecting on my own losses I recognise that we don’t want the person they have lost to fade away and we continue to remember and feel emotionally connected beyond the passing.
Certain times bring us very close to the memory of that loss and what we have lost. For instance, at birthdays or other special family event or times of the year. It is then we can find ourselves needing to express to connect with others about our lost loved one. In The Forever Kid, Vince and his family celebrate and remember Johnny on the day of his birthday. On talking to many families who have suffered the loss of a child I have found that this is common practice. Although sadness is certainly present this can be the day where there is a reflection on the life of the loved one. This celebration of life in itself becomes the positive coming together and of that opportunity to talk about that loved one.
For children it is vital that they have access to the truth as well as have a chance to be involved in the grieving process, both around the time of death and after. This may include visiting the loved one who is terminally ill or being involved in funeral arrangements and life immediately after the death. The second aspect with children’s grief is that it is important that they have a safe adult or older sibling or child to talk to about how they feel. Someone they can trust with their thoughts and emotions. Someone who can listen actively and someone who can listen actively can understands the context.
The National Centre for Childhood Grief has some very helpful resources and information for those who need it.
Elizabeth Mary Cummings: website
#dealingwithgrief #strength #togetherness #remembrance
Michelle Worthington has a special story to share with Elizabeth at the Share Your Story blog.
Celebrate Your Loved Ones and WIN!
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