Recently, we had some children in our ministry lose their father, after previously losing their mother just three years prior. As you can imagine, it has been a very difficult and confusing time for them and they have looked to the church for comfort and guidance.
This caused me to begin doing some research online about grieving children. I stumbled upon a website called childrengrieve.org, that published an article called, 10 Things Grieving Children Want You to Know (I have linked the article in the resources on the bottom of this post). I wanted to share with you those 10 things, because I feel they are extremely important when it comes to speaking with children who have recently lost a loved one. The article elaborates on them more, so be sure to check it out, but here’s the overview:
- Grieving children want to be told the truth.
- Grieving children want to be reassured that there will always be someone to take care of them.
- Grieving children want you to know that their grief is long lasting.
- Children often cope with grief and loss through play.
- Grieving children want you to know that they will always miss the person who died.
- Often, Grieving children want to share their story and talk about the person who died.
- Every child grieves differently.
- Grieving children often feel guilty.
- Even though children might be acting out, what they are really feeling is intense emotions of grief.
- If you’re not sure what a grieving child wants, just ask him!
Grieving and hurting children need to feel the love of Jesus more than ever. If the statistics are true, that 1 in 9 Americans lose a parent before the age of 20, you will most likely have to deal with these situations in your children’s ministry as well, perhaps you have already done so. Below are some resources to help you. Be sure to comment and let us know the best resources you have found for grieving children.
Resources for Grieving Children:
- Heaven for Kids by Randy Alcorn
- Heaven: God’s Promise for Me by Anne Graham Lotz
- When I’m with Jesus by Kimberly Rae
- God Gave Us Heaven by Lisa T. Bergren
- Tell Me About Heaven by Randy Alcorn
- Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile by Julie Kaplow
- The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
- Someone I Loved Died by Christine Harder Tangvald
- 104 Questions Children Ask About Heaven and Angels by James C. Wilhoit