Keep in mind the words of Jesus when he said that, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die."

Christian Parenting

Have you been searching blogs for Christian women for information on helping a child go through the grieving process? The first thing you should know is that children can react to death in many ways, and these ways will vary from child to child. Sometimes a few reactions - even seemingly contradictory ones - can occur at once. Young children may not understand what "death" means at all, and may consider it a kind of game. After all, characters in many children's stories and movies "die" and then "come back to life". What is more, such children may not have had any previous experience with grief. Even if they can conceptualize "death" to a certain extent, therefore, they may not understand their own feelings around it.

All of these issues can be compounded by the fact that death strongly affects adults as well, and can cause the caretakers in a child's world to be less available than they were before because they are involved with their own grieving processes. This circumstance may cause as much duress and confusion for the child as the death itself - perhaps even more so. Oftentimes children become frightened by the ways in which the adults around them respond to grief.

If you are grieving yourself, then you may have to make some added effort to break out of your own protective isolation in order to be there for your child. Consider, first of all, that he or she may be reacting quite differently than you are to the fact of death. You've likely had more experience. You can at least compare this to other circumstances and form ideas about what to expect as you move through different stages of your own healing process. Children do not have such advantages. Their sense of security is shaken in fundamental ways, and it's like nothing that they've experienced before.

Begin by explaining, in the simplest and clearest terms that you can, what death actually means. Ambiguity may spare children some pain in the short term, but this will be outweighed by lost opportunities to process their feelings over the long term. Answer any questions honestly, but do not overload them with details.

You should also feel free to share the religious beliefs which are comforting to you at the moment, to explain that the person is gone from this world, but is now with God. Keep in mind the words of Jesus when he said that, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die."

When confronted with the reality of death, a child's core question is usually, "how is my life going to look different from here on?" This is a time to be a patient and reassuring presence. However, do not try to act as a therapist and force communication. Let children volunteer their thoughts and feelings at their own pace. In the meantime, try to maintain certain core routines that may have existed before. This kind of structure can help children to feel that life will go on - and it can be good again.

Much of the process of coping with grief occurs internally. This is true for children as much as for adults. We often do not see the healing mechanisms at work. However, it can be helpful to be aware of the various ways in which sadness, denial and shock can manifest. These may include loss of appetite, sleeplessness, emotional and/or physical withdrawal, the inability to concentrate, bouts of aggression, and temper tantrums.

Children are resilient because they live close to the natural emotional and mental therapeutic processes that are everyone's birthright. Oftentimes the only additional help they need from us is in the form of our patience, reassurance and honesty; in our holding them and in our declarations of love. This can become an anchor for them when the world suddenly feels unstable.