A Child’s Grief Is Different

Grief seems like a very “grown up” concept. We would like to think that people die of old age, so their loved ones are older, too. However, in a poll of 1,000 high school juniors and seniors, 90% indicated that they had experienced the death of a loved one, according to nhic.ucsf.edu/downloads/Mortality.pdf.

It’s a staggering figure, but something Serenity HospiceCare works with every day. You see, Serenity HospiceCare is our area’s only hospice agency that works with pediatric patients. Not only do we assist pediatric patients who are dealing with a life-limiting illness, we also serve young people dealing with the imminent loss of a loved one.

Children deal differently with grief than adults do. Serenity HospiceCare’s highly trained social work staff begins by helping young people with anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief refers to a grief reaction that occurs before an impending loss. We build a relationship with the child before the loss, and help them work through and understand their feelings surrounding losing a loved one. We are there for the child before, during and after the loss, providing support and an outlet for their grief throughout.

There is no timetable for a child’s grief. It takes time to process all of the emotions and stages that come with losing someone close to you. Serenity HospiceCare’s timetable is dependent on each child. We are there for them, as long as they need us to be, either in their home, working one-on-one, or through group therapy at Carter’s Clubhouse, a grief support group for kids. All of these services are 100% free of charge. As the only independent, not-for-profit hospice agency in our area, our priority is taking care of the people in the communities we serve.

At Serenity HospiceCare, our decisions are made based on what is best for our patients and their families, not the bottom line. In fact, our patients never pay a dime for any of our services. We are proud to serve children and help guide them through the grieving process.

If you would like more information on how we can help a child you love deal with anticipatory grief, or the loss of a loved one, call us at 573.431.0162, or visit us online at SerenityHC.org.