Grief In Children
When someone close in a child’s life dies, the child experiences grief but in a different way than an adult. Firstly, it depends on their age. Preschool children typically see death as temporary while children between five and nine begin to think more like adults about death. However, they still believe it will never happen to them or anyone they know, according to the American Academy on Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
While it is normal for children to feel grief immediately after the passing of a loved one, long-term grief can be emotionally unhealthy and lead to more significant problems. That’s why it’s so important to connect children with a grief counselor as soon as possible. And if applicable, it’s also important that the children’s caregivers tend to their own grief, whether that’s through a grief counselor, grief group or the like.
At the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), we understand how important it is to process grieving, and that’s why in addition to offering grief counseling to adults and children through our hospice program, we offer children another way to grieve through Camp Chrysalis, a bereavement-focused camp. Camp Chrysalis offers a way for children who have experienced a death to better understand and cope with their emotions through a combination of fun, outdoor activities and therapeutic sessions. Taking place in the fall and spring, the camp is staffed by VNA-trained counselors and staff, and the camp activities are designed to help children work through their grief and understand that their emotions are a normal part of the grieving process.
To learn more about VNA’s Camp Chrysalis, visit here.