Processing grief after a loved one’s sudden death is difficult, especially for a child. Click here to learn what you can do to help ease your child’s grief.

How can I help my children emotionally process and cope with a loved one’s unexpected wrongful death?



Helping a child cope with griefCoping with the loss of a loved one is never easy. It doesn’t matter whether the loss was expected or sudden, peaceful or tragic, you’re going to experience a whirlwind of emotions that you may not know how to handle. However, the emotional rollercoaster you’re experiencing may be even worse for your children.

When a loved one dies unexpectedly, especially as a result of someone else’s negligence, confusion and anger are the two emotions that most people feel first. We want you to know that these feelings are okay. In fact, identifying these emotions and understanding where they come from can be a great comfort and help with managing your grief. Unfortunately, the younger you are, the more difficult it is to process your feelings. Although the world doesn’t stop because of grief, it may feel like it has stopped for your child.

Tips to Help Your Child Process His Grief

While processing your own grief, you must also keep an eye on your children to ensure that they too are processing the loss. You can help them progress through their grief and comfort them by following these steps:

  • Acknowledge the distress. Although you’re dealing with the loss as well, you must take the time to acknowledge your child’s pain. You can’t allow yourself to become absorbed by your own feelings and shut him out. He will undoubtedly feel alone and needs you to be there to talk to, to comfort him, and tell him everything will be okay.
  • Talk about it. Many parents feel that the less their child knows about death the better off they’ll be. However, if you shelter your child from the logistics of death, he’ll still feel the pain of loss without knowing why the pain is there. Try to be as truthful as you can, and explain to your child what happened and what the loss will mean for your family. Ask him how he feels, and explain why it’s ok for him to feel that way.
  • Give him time. Recovering from a loss takes time, no matter how old you are. Rather than trying to push him into acceptance too quickly, allow him the freedom to work out his feelings at his own pace.
  • Monitor behavior. Keep an eye on his behavior and take note of any negative actions. If you notice a decrease in social behavior or an increase in aggression, talk to him about it. Encourage him to speak to you openly about how he feels, why he’s changed his behavior, and what you can do together to help ease the grief.
  • Seek counseling. In some situations, your child may need to speak with a professional grief counselor. Do not take this as a personal affront, or feel as though there is something wrong with your child. Nothing can be further from the truth. Some children require an outsider to help them process their feelings, as do some adults. Counseling is perfectly normal and can drastically help your child understand his grief and cope with the loss.

Need to know more about your options following a loved one’s wrongful death? Our extensive library of articles, blogs, and FAQs can help you better understand your situation. The research and resources we’ve gathered will provide you with the necessary information you need to build a strong case. Get started with Coping With the Sudden Traumatic Death of a Loved One. You can then choose your reading from a wide array of topics that include facts, statistics, and tips related to Washington wrongful death claims, child beneficiary laws, and coping with a loss due to negligence.