At Awakened Counseling Services, we pride ourselves on our therapists in Fort Myers who provide a safe and supportive environment for children facing grief and loss.

Grief and Loss for Children: Understanding and Healing the Hurt

Grief and loss are complex processes for children. It can be hard to understand and even harder to cope with. It can be highly traumatic when a child loses someone they care about. They may feel grief, sadness, confusion, guilt, or even anger all at once; these emotional shifts can be overwhelming and confusing for children who may not have the mental capacity to process them. Children often feel a sense of abandonment when a loved one dies or leaves their life for any other reason. Depending on their age and understanding, this grief can manifest differently.

Grief and Loss for Children: The Perspective

It is essential that adults understand grief and loss from the perspective of children – how it affects them emotionally, physically, mentally, and psychologically – to provide adequate support as they get through it. A child’s grief should be taken seriously and respected; it can take some time before they can come to terms with the dramatic changes in their life following the loss of someone close to them.

In addition, a child’s perspective differs from that of an adult because they don’t have the mature life experience adults have. For instance, a child may not understand why the grief is happening and may be unable to express it in words.

Adults need to provide comfort and support when a child is experiencing grief and loss. This could mean spending extra time with them, talking about the person who has died and encouraging them to share stories or memories about them. Involve the other family members in these activities so that everyone can remember the person together.

Adults should also create an environment of understanding which will help a child adjust to their new reality without feeling ashamed or judged. It’s also important to set boundaries regarding conversations on grief and loss; children need a safe space to talk openly and honestly without fear of reprisal.

Grief and Loss for Children: The Effects

It’s critical to realize that trauma associated with grief and loss is not just manifested in the body. In fact, the mind can be infinitely more affected. Manifestations within the physical body can include depression, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, and sleep disturbances. Grief can also manifest as emotional reactions to stimuli such as dreams or physical activities that remind them of their loved one; it can also lead to feelings of isolation and withdrawal from social activities.

Children who experience grief and loss may suffer from nightmares, flashbacks, anger issues, and persistent fear. Difficulty concentrating and learning may be a result of trauma as well. Furthermore, grief-related distress can lead to more serious symptoms such as anxiety or depression.

Parents need to recognize the signs of grief in children so that appropriate interventions can occur. It’s also crucial for parents to provide support and understanding during this difficult time. Allowing your child to express their feelings in a safe environment is essential – in whatever form it takes! Encouraging communication between family members also helps create an atmosphere of acceptance and comfort when dealing with grief and loss.

Grief and Loss for Children: The First Steps

Parents and caregivers should talk openly with the child about grief and loss while providing reassurance that they are not alone in their grief journey. Letting a child express their feelings without judgment or pressure will help them better comprehend what has happened and how they are feeling. It is also essential that adults educate children on grief to reduce any misconceptions or fears associated with death; this includes answering questions honestly but respectfully while being mindful of the language used to not confuse the child further.

It’s essential for parents/caregivers/teachers/mentors etc., who support grieving children during this challenging time to recognize that everyone processes grief differently – mainly depending on age – so patience is vital! Showing compassion through active listening, empathy, and understanding goes far when your child needs you most during this process – helping ensure healthier coping mechanisms rather than unhealthy ones (such as avoidance), which could later lead to more long-term impacts such as depression or anxiety disorders if left unchecked.

Grief and Loss for Children: Helping Them Through


When dealing with grief, there are many activities adults can do with children that will help them process their emotions more effectively. Drawing pictures is an excellent way for children to express themselves without using words; it also allows parents to learn more about how their child is feeling without necessarily asking direct questions, which might make them uncomfortable discussing specific topics such as death.

Storytelling is another tool parents can access; retelling stories from when a deceased loved one was still alive allows children to remember fond memories while still recognizing that person’s passing which helps them grieve appropriately over time.

Additionally, getting involved in meaningful community service projects like cleaning up parks or delivering meals-on-wheels could give children an outlet for positive expression as well as provide some solace amidst challenging times – connecting with those around us often leads us out of the darkness towards the light again.


Many resources are available to help children who are going through grief and loss. These can include books, websites, and people such as counselors or teachers who can offer understanding and support. It’s important to remember that grief and loss can affect children differently. What works for one child may not work for another.

Books can be a great way to learn more about grief and loss and how it affects children. Many books are available with age-appropriate stories, activities, or tips on how to manage grief. There are many online resources that provide information on grief and loss geared toward helping parents understand their child’s emotions. In addition, talking to counselors or other adults who have experience dealing with grief can help create an environment where a child feels heard and supported.

Grief and Loss for Children: What About You?

Dealing with grief and loss for children is difficult at the best of times. However, it can feel almost impossible when you are sharing that grief. Whether it is the grief of a lost loved one or the grief of a traumatic event, the emotional journey can be overwhelming for everyone involved.

Emotions can become heightened, and you may need to take extra steps to ensure your child feels heard and supported. Sometimes as a reaction to grief, we tend to want to wrap those that are hurting in cotton wool and deal with it internally, without outside input.

Above all, ensure you take care of yourself, too – grief is hard enough without shouldering it alone. Reach out for help when needed. Having a supportive network around you will benefit you and your child as you deal with grief and loss together.

Grief and Loss for Children: Specialists

Grief counseling sessions with a professional therapist can be highly beneficial and may provide the answer you are looking for at a time when your brain may be finding things difficult to cope with.

Participating in group therapy sessions surrounded by other grieving children could assist kids in accepting their grief while allowing them to share experiences with others who have gone through similar situations, thus normalizing grief within themselves.

At Awakened Counseling Services, we pride ourselves on our therapists in Estero who provide a safe and supportive environment for children facing grief and loss. We understand that grief is difficult to process, especially for kids. Hence, we provide personalized care tailored to each child’s unique needs.

We strive to help children express their grief in healthy ways, offer them space to grieve without judgment or pressure, and provide guidance and support as they move through the grief process. Our compassionate therapists use evidence-based techniques such as play therapy, art therapy, music therapy, talk therapy sessions, and other activities that may help your child with grief. With our help, your child can learn how to cope actively with grief and grief-related issues more productively.

Grief and Loss for Children: In a Nutshell

While grieving will never be easy for anyone, especially young people dealing with complex emotions like sadness and guilt after losing someone significant in their lives – having proper guidance and support throughout this challenging period is a vital part of healing and growth moving forward into life after loss.

With appropriate resources and open communication between all parties involved, we can create an environment where grieving kids experience healthy outlets, form positive relationships, and ultimately feel supported enough to overcome these tragic events.

Meet The Author

Katherine Gutierrez, LMHC & Certified EMDR Therapist

Katherine Gutierrez, LMHC & Certified EMDR Therapist

Hello my name is Katherine. After embarking on a personal journey of healing and self discovery, I founded Awakened Counseling Services. My hope is that I can create a safe space where my clients can experience the same healing power of therapy that changed my life. I am passionate about my work with adolescents, young adults and the incredible changes many clients experience through the use of EMDR.

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