Today, Sharon offers a lead for a local bereavement support organization for children, teens, and their families:
“During the past couple of months, I’ve been reminded repeatedly about how kids grow and learn about the world around them. And in particular, how challenging it can be to figure out how to communicate with kids about difficult situations, such as the loss of a loved one.
Adults have many ways - both healthy and unhealthy - of coping with loss. Without help processing their feelings, children may express grief through behaviors such as acting out, anger, isolation, or aggression. Through a co-worker, I recently learned about The Children’s Room, a local center that offers bereavement support for children, teens, and their families. I was struck by my co-worker’s description of helping kids express their feelings through art, music, and sports, as well as the fact that The Children’s Room fosters support and solidarity through group settings, allowing kids to interact around these issues with kids their own age.
Admittedly, when I first heard that one of my nieces (who lives in another state) was attending a similar bereavement program to cope with the losses of her twin sister and grandfather, I initially cringed at the idea. But I quickly realized that this reaction was rooted in the taboo associated with being open about discussing difficult, painful issues with children. But these discussions – and finding ways to work through grief – are particularly important, given how emotionally confusing times like these can be for children.
The Children's Room operates out of Arlington and Framingham and serves kids between the ages of 3 to 18. The service is free, and relies on donations from families and foundations.”