Writing A Story of Loss with Your Child—to Gain Understanding
I want to share the post the wonderful folks at Modern Loss once asked me to write for caregivers looking for a creative way to help children process loss. You can use this activity to discuss bereavement loss but also about the ambiguous losses kids are experiencing right such as contact with friends, routines, places, school and other activities. I am grateful to you and your kids who are being helpers to the world by staying home during this pandemic. The intro and a link to the original post on Modern Loss is below
By Caron Levis, MFA; LMSW
Honest, open, and expressive communication is essential for supporting a child who has experienced or become curious about death and loss—but it can be a daunting conversation to start.
That’s why I wrote Ida, Always, a picture book about death and loss for young readers. A book is a creative and safe place to experience and explore Big Feelings and Questions together. Books helped my mom support me, when in elementary school I came to her, confused and full of feelings I couldn’t name, having heard that Charlie, my first school bus driver had gotten sick and died. Recently, when working with a student who had lost her dad and couldn’t talk about it—I wasn’t sure what to do. So, we read about the bereaved bears in my book and then she chose to write her own story about her dad. Writing a personalized story is a meaningful and enjoyable way for caregivers to engage children in this important and challenging conversation.
If you decide create your own story for a child in your life, try to embrace the process with an attitude of discovery. You don’t need to know everything or have all the answers. The most important thing is to simply be a caring guide and provide a safe space for exploration. By doing so, you’ll be able to help a child to validate, normalize, share information, and empower them to become active authors of their own experiences. Gather some paper, crayons, your sense of play, focus in on your child, and use these seven steps to go from idea to “publication...”
Read the full post here: 8 Steps to Writing a Loss Story with Your Child
Books are a safe way to explore big feelings. Here’s how to write a tale of loss and grief with your child.