Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Sunday, February 14, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

SJB Ravioli Dinner 2016

Home : Faith/Spirituality : Living Faith
10/31/2013 1:09:00 PM
How children handle grief essential to their development
Catholic News Service
A girls looks at photo of her mother.
Catholic News Service
A girls looks at photo of her mother.
Catholic News Service


WASHINGTON — For many young children, it’s hard enough learning arithmetic and proper grammar. But grappling with grief after losing a loved one is in a whole other realm of difficulty.

Laurie Olbrisch, executive vice president of Rainbows, an international grief-support charity, said grieving children often experience low self-esteem and a sense of vulnerability that can impede their social and emotional development if left unchecked.

She said these feelings can put children at higher risk for developing patterns of risky behavior, such as drug abuse and promiscuity.

“Maybe they’re only in third grade when the loss happens but if they’ve never had any support or help … maybe by the time they’re a teenager those things will really manifest themselves in their personality,” Olbrisch said.

She noted that children are sometimes uncomfortable talking to counselors or psychologists about their grief.

That’s when a peer-based approach is better for helping them cope, Oldrisch said because they get to “talk about their loss in their own terms, on their own level.”

Hospice Support Care is a volunteer organization in Virginia that provides various services to seriously ill people and people suffering the loss of a loved one.

Once a year, in spring, the organization hosts Camp Rainbow, a weekend bereavement camp for children ages 5 to 12. The camp aims to strike a balance between recreation and grief-specific activities. Campers play games and participate in outdoor activities, like fishing and hiking, but they also take part in group discussions where they can share stories and express their feelings.

Kim Rudat, Hospice Support Care’s children’s bereavement coordinator, said the camps reduce children’s sense of isolation and give them an environment where they can help each other cope with grief.

“They learn from other kids their age experiencing the same feelings and thoughts,” Rudat said. “The big thing is they learn they aren’t alone. They aren’t the only ones who don’t have a parent.”

Hospice Support staff determines if children are ready to come to the camp during an intake process where they get to know the child. Rudat said she doesn’t recommend someone attending until two or three months after a loved one’s death, because some children are too numb to deal with their feelings, or too overwhelmed to address them in a group setting immediately after their loss.

The Rev. Lavender Kelley, a pediatric chaplain for Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, spends much of her time helping children through various forms of grief, including the loss of loved ones.

She explained the different ways young children up to age 12 try to comprehend death.

Infants don’t experience the same sense of loss that an older child might, because their minds are so underdeveloped, Rev. Kelley said.

And while children between ages 2 and 5 are aware of their loss, they sometimes struggle to grasp concepts such as time and forever, so it can be hard for them to understand death as a permanent state, Rev. Kelley said. She said it’s important to be somewhat frank when explaining this, however hard that might be.

Being vague or using metaphors to explain death runs the risk of children indulging in fantasy and obsessing over something that will never change rather than addressing their feelings, Rev. Kelley said.

“You want to use very concrete language. Don’t say things like, ‘they’re gone.’ You use terms like death and dead, and not analogies like, ‘vacation’ or ‘sleep’,” the chaplain said. “They’re going to try to figure out how to make (their loved one) come back. Or they’ll start to think that any kind of illness or any kind of accident is going to cause the same thing.”

When helping a child through their grief, it’s important to listen and let them ask questions. For example, a 5-year-old asking if they will get a new sibling after losing a brother or sister might sound bizarre, but it’s not out of the ordinary for a young child who is grappling with the concept of death, Rev. Kelley said. Prior to the loss of a family member, for many children death has only come up when it pertained to pets or plants.

“The absolute worst things you can say to a kid is, ‘You don’t need to need to think about that’, or, ‘Don’t ask questions like that’. Because they’re going to think about it even more. And it’s going to turn into this cycle of unanswered questions that turn into fears that mount,” she said.
 



Advanced Search









Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved