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Grief Support Resources

Coping with a loss?

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Loss From A Child's Perspective

Did you know?

  • 1 in 5 children will experience the death of someone close to them by age 18.
  • 1 out of every 20 children aged 15 and younger will suffer the loss of one or both parents. (These statistics don’t account for the number of children who lose a “parental figure,” such as a grandparent or other relative that provides care.)
  • 56% of children who lost a parent growing up said they would trade a year of their life for one more day with their departed parent.
  • 72% of children believe their life would have been “much better” if their parent hadn’t died so young.
  • 69% of Americans who lost a parent growing up still think about their parent frequently.
(source: Children’ Fact Sheet)

According to childhood bereavement care experts, children and young people need to be given the opportunity to grieve as any adult would. Trying to ignore or avert the child’s grief is not protective; in fact, it can prove to be extremely damaging as the child enters adulthood. Children and youth, regardless of their age, need to be encouraged to talk about how they are feeling and supported to understand their emotions.

It is also important to remember that children grieve in different ways than adults. Grief is unique, and children will experience different emotions, exhibit unusual behaviors, and respond in their own unique way. A child or young person’s grief differs from that of an adult’s grief because it alters as they develop. Failure to be honest with the grieving child or young person means that their grief is not being acknowledged and this can cause problems later on.

Harrell Funeral Home is an advocate for securing children the help they need to heal from the pain that death brings. Over the years we have partnered with several local organizations to bring families the comfort and care that is necessary to heal.

Do you know of a child who has experienced the loss of a loved one? We would encourage you to reach out to the following local organizations for assistance.

Camp Agape is a non-denominational, Christian-based program that supports children and families who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Trained staff and volunteers are committed to sharing the belief that through Christ there is HOPE. Camp Agape’s programs give families a safe, nurturing, and therapeutic environment for processing their grief.

  • Summer Camp is a four-day, three-night camp scheduled in July, at Camp Buckner in the Texas Hill Country. Children between the ages of 7 and 12 attend Camp Agape at no cost to their families.
  • Annual Family Retreat for grief recovery is scheduled in the Fall at Camp Buckner. Priority is given to families whose children attend Camp Agape’s summer program.

Footprints Children’s Grief Ministry is a free community-wide program serving children between the ages of 6 and 18 and their families who are experiencing grief and loss due to death or divorce. The program provides a safe, caring environment in which children can learn to identify and cope with their emotions. Most importantly children can learn that "They are not alone."

  • Grief Workshop is one hour, once a week, for ten weeks. All activities and sessions are conducted in a group format consisting of eight to ten children and are led by three trained, non-related adult volunteers. All staff volunteers/facilitators are trained in the overall process, in the specifics of the activities, and how to recognize and work with the grieving children. Youth are placed in peer support groups with other children their age who have gone through similar losses. The activities and games are designed to help children understand their emotions and began to deal with them. 
  • Parents involvement in the healing process is a huge key to the child’s success. While the children’s sessions are being conducted, a meeting for the parent or guardians with a facilitator trained to answer questions will also be provided on-site.

The Christi Center serves as advocates for the needs of grieving people by providing outreach and education on grief and issues facing the bereaved for schools, businesses, churches, community organizations and allied professionals. They refer clients to over 150 community agencies to ensure that they can meet the broad range of needs grieving families may have. Their services are free to grieving people, for as long as they need them, and open to anyone ages 5 and up in Central Texas.  

The Christi Center offers peer-based, loss-specific grief support groups for children, teens, and adults.  (i.e., loss of a child, spouse, or any other significant relationship). Groups are facilitated by trained facilitators and supervised by a licensed professional counselor.  They also offer special groups that serve victims and family members of violent crime, loss to addiction/overdose, and suicide. 

Bradley Vinson is a grief and bereavement expert who travels to deliver ‘Helping grieving students’ workshops and ‘Self-care for caregivers’ workshops. He delivers in-service training for teachers, counselors, and other school personnel that interacts with students. Also, he speaks to organizations and schools who have experienced the death of an employee, student, or who have been impacted by a tragic event in their surrounding community. He says, “Failure to address the needs of grieving children can have short-term effects on their school performance and serious consequences later in life.” He offers helpful resources on his website including:

  • Responding to a school crisis: Tips for educators in elementary and secondary schools
  • Military Kids: Responding to their grief
  • Helping children understand funerals: Planning a special service for children
  • After a tragedy: what kids can do
  • The grieving teen
  • Writing a condolence note to a grieving child or adolescent
  • Guidelines for parents to help their children through grief

Additional Bereavement and Support Services:

» Monthly Grief Support Classes through Harrell Funeral Home

We offer monthly Grief Support classes taught by Rev. Pat Kelly and produced by Griefshare. These classes run for 13-weeks beginning in the Fall. Each week your group will watch a video seminar on DVD. The GriefShare videos cover topics essential to your recovery from the hurt of grief and loss. The videos are produced in a compelling television magazine format and feature interviews with grief recovery experts, mini-dramas, on-location video, and real-life stories of people who have experienced the death of a loved one.  The key themes include: Is this normal?, challenges of grief, journey of grief, grief and relationships, Why?, guilt and anger, complicating factors, stuck, lessons of grief, heaven, what do I live for now, and special sessions like surviving the holidays. Please call (512) 268-8200 for class schedule or immediate help.

»  Center for Loss & Transition
A leading provider of information and inspiration in the areas of illness and dying, loss and grief, healthy caregiving, life transition, and spirituality.

»  GriefNet
GriefNet is an Internet community of persons dealing with grief, death, and major loss. They have many email support groups. Their integrated approach to online grief support provides help to people working through loss and grief issues.

»  National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Committed to improving end of life care and expanding access to hospice care with the goal of profoundly enhancing quality of life for people dying in America and their loved ones.

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