How Grieving Parents
Can Take Care of Themselves
By Robin Fiorelli
Many parents and adults find it challenging to care for children when they are grieving the loss of a loved one themselves. This is why it is imperative that adults make a special effort to get the support and assistance they need, so that, in turn, they can attend to the grief needs of their children. Some adults, on the other hand, find it particularly therapeutic to give to a grieving child because it can be healing to provide assistance to someone else.
If possible, grieving adults should:
- Take time for themselves to sort out their own concerns, doubts and fears. It is hard for an adult to be reassuring to a childen when he or she has unresolved fears.
- Take care of their physical health—rest, eat right, exercise moderately and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Keep a grief journal, read books about grief and join a bereavement support group. Many grief experts also suggest waiting to make any major life decisions.
- Take people up on their offers of help and support. Relatives and friends can run errands, take care of the children or assist with the final arrangements. It is important for the adult not to become isolated.
- Allow the child to care about them, as long as the child doesn't become consumed with care.
- Have someone with whom they can share the responsibility of providing emotional grief support to the child.