Parents of Grievers

Alone on the Rocks - Maui

It can be difficult to witness grief in anyone, but it can be especially hard when the griever is a child. As a parent or caregiver of a grieving child, the first reaction may be to protect the child from the pain. Before trying to shield the child from his or her grief, read the ABC’s for Parents or Caregivers of Grievers.

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The ABC’s are guidelines for you to help your child through the journey of grief.


ABC’s for Parents or Caregivers of Grievers

If you are the parent or caregiver of a grieving child, adolescent or young adult, it’s important for you to be prepared as much as possible for the journey ahead.

Can I fix this?

As much as you would like, you cannot “fix” this situation for the child nor can you “fix” the child. It’s important to know that heartache and grief cannot, and should not, be avoided. Those grieving should enter the pain and experience it, in order to recover from it.

Won’t my child grow out of this?

Grief in children can arise anytime throughout the different developmental stages of growth and even into adulthood. If that grief is suppressed it may only rear itself in a more negative and detrimental way later on. So the griever is encouraged to embrace the sorrow and allow it for a time.

Will this go on forever?

In the beginning, this grief journey may feel all-consuming to everyone involved; it may seem as if it will always be overwhelming. However, if the child is allowed to thoroughly experience the loss, the grief will lose its dominance, then eventually decrease its force and take its place in the background.

The following ABC’s are guidelines to parents and/or caregivers; but they are only suggestions because every grieving situation and every griever is different.


A   Allow the grief

B   Be comforting

C   Communication and Connection

D   Don’t assume

E   Empathize

F   Freedom of expression

G   Grieve together

H   Help with identity crisis

I    Include the child

J   Just love

K   Keep fun alive

L   Live each day

M   Mood swings

N   Never give up

O   Observe disturbing behavior

P   Patience

Q   Questions answered

R   Regular routines

S   Spiritual matters

T   Trustworthy

U   Unfair and Unrealistic expectations

V   Validate feelings

W   Withdrawal

X   eXpect the uneXpected

Y   You are important

Z   Zest for the future