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Grief and Loss

posted Dec 20, 2016, 5:32 PM by Leigh Francis   [ updated Dec 20, 2016, 5:48 PM ]

December 20, 2016

 

Dear Parents:

 

Our school community has experienced a terrible loss. We are deeply saddened to report that one of our second grade students, Kadriana Lane, died Sunday due to a house fire.

 

As a school, we want you to be aware of the steps we are taking to help our students at BES cope with this loss.  Counselors and school psychologists will be available to speak with children upon their return to school on January 3.  A normal routine will be maintained as much as possible to bring comfort and consistency to your child’s school day. 

 

            Enclosed you will find some guidelines to assist you in helping your child cope during this difficult time.  Children’s grief is both alike and different from the grief experienced by adults.  Like adults their reactions are individual and may be experienced on many different levels. They may experience grief as physical aches and pains. It may affect their behavior or their ability to concentrate or focus.  Children may experience a range of feelings including sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, jealousy or loneliness.  Like adults, they may struggle spiritually to understand and find some sense of meaning in the loss.

 

But children’s grief is also different. Younger children may have a difficult time acknowledging the permanence of death, as well as sustaining strong feelings. Because of this short feeling span their moods may shift, and they may experience outbursts of anger or sadness. Some of the ways grief may be evident include acting-out behavior, regressive behavior (such as thumb sucking or clinging), changes in grades, increased accidents, and sleep disturbance.

 

            As a parent there are several things you can do to support your child during this time. The following are a few suggestions:

1.      Explain the death in a clear and factual manner. 

2.      Help the child understand that death is final.

3.      Allow the child opportunity to express their grief (make a card, draw a picture).

4.      Holding a child can do more than mere words to provide comfort.

5.      It is acceptable for a child to attend the funeral, if it is their wish.

6.      Prior to the funeral someone should explain to children what is likely to take place.

7.      It is important to continue daily routines.

 

            There are books about coping with grief for children and adults available in the school counselor’s office. Several links of helpful resources will be listed on the school website. If you have additional questions or concerns about your child during this difficult time, or if we can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact either of us by email or phone.  

 

            The faculty, staff and students extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Lane family and their friends. As a school community, we want to reach out in support of them in this difficult time. Information on funeral arrangements, as they become available, will be on the school website. Our school community will miss our beautiful, sweet, kind and smart Kadriana very much. Her smile will never be forgotten. She was our friend and we loved her.

 

With care and concern,

Keith Bennett, Principal 434-941-6761

Sharron Gunter, Assistant Principal 434-841-3953

Beverly Puckette, School Counselor 434-660-0626

RESOURCES:

Article:  Helping Young Children and Families Deal With Trauma ( a down loadable PDF is located in the Student and Parent section of this website).

WEB Sites that may offer help:

http://kidshealth.org

http://apa.org

http://hospicenet.org