I would welcome some ideas on how to help young children, both are between 6 - 10, with grieving. My father passed away 8 months ago, after having lived with us for 2.5 years. My children were amazingly strong through his final days and funeral, and even in the months after. They saw his body at the funeral, and we all cried together in the months after. Recently, my daughter cried saying she just wants Grandpa's "shell" back. I realize now that we focused on telling them that Grandpa was alive in heaven, and it is just a shell that has died. I'm heartbroken for them, for all of us, all over again. We lost a wonderful father, grandfather, friend. Maybe they are sensing my sorrow during the holidays. We clearly still have some healing to do. I would welcome any ideas on how to help my children grieve.

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Thank you countrymouse. I had not considered another source of upset, and will gently explore that. My own grieving is put on hold. Still caring for mom with dementia, and all the other roles, I have not done well to allow myself more than a few minutes of reflection now and again. Indeed, we all have some work to do to grieve and let go.
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I would just check there isn't also something else upsetting your daughter. The profound grief she and you all are feeling might have made her more vulnerable emotionally to another issue that wants nipping in the bud - somebody being mean at school, for example.

I'm sure you're right that the children will have picked up on your sadness at missing your much-loved father over the holidays. How do you think you are doing with the grieving process? I'm wondering if perhaps the healing needs to start with you.

I don't mean that the children wouldn't be feeling their own loss if they hadn't "caught" it from you. Of course they would - losing a lovely grandpa is awful for them and they will miss him in their own way. It's just that in order to support them you need to have a handle on your own emotions, and if that is proving more difficult than *you* think is reasonable then perhaps it's time to look for professional help for you.

VITAS Hospice publishes "Guidelines for Helping Grieving Children" which seems like a good overview; but there are many organisations and publications available, it's a matter of selecting those which seem to you to be most in tune with your children's particular characters.

And, time...
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