What to do When Your Child is Grieving…

Maybe it has been going through the holidays with someone missing.  Maybe it is the let down after all the hype and busy time around Christmas.  Maybe it is the cold and dark days of winter.  Whatever is making the sting of missing a loved one stronger it is tough especially when it is children feeling the loss.  Today each of my girls came to me in sobs crying “I miss Papa”.

I wish I had some amazing words of wisdom how to miraculously make the pain of the loss of a loved one go away, especially for children.  There were no magic words when my best friend lost her husband and the father of her two young children.  There have been no special words for the countless friends who have lost family or even their own children.

With my girls all I could do is hug them tight and acknowledge their feelings of loss and pain.  My own mother lost her mother as a child just before turning twelve years old and she still feels that loss.  There have been times I have witnessed the grief she feels over having lost her mother.  This loss was over fifty years ago and it remains very real.  So when comforting my children I couldn’t bring myself to say “It will get better”.  To me this is not true and the loss will always be there until we go to heaven.  The sneaky pain will creep up when looking at pictures or as a special memory sends an overwhelming since of loss.

What I could encourage them to do is to carry on and focus on others.  Find what they can truly be passionate about.  To work hard doing what will please God and help others.  To be thankful to God for having known Papa.  By doing this they will make their Papa proud as well.

Our greatest passion in life can come from our deepest pains of life.  God provides the greatest healing, comfort, and purpose by turning our focus to others.

1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

Of course I then reminded them that because of Jesus we will see Papa again.  Our grief is actually only for a little while until we meet again in heaven.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.”

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