What God Would Say to the Parents Who Lost Their Kids in the Deadly Florida Crash

This past week I came across a news story that rocked me to the core, like I’m sure it did most people. As a mother, especially, anytime I hear of a young, innocent child passing away, I am devastated. Like most parents, when I am witness to the tragic loss of a child, I take it on myself. I imagine what it would feel like to lose one, or even all of my babies. I feel the anguish, the pain, the grief, but then do you know what I do? I push it away. I shove away such awful, unmentionable thoughts, I draw my own chicks closer into my nest, and I sigh a breath of relief that they are there. That is the honest to God truth of it, and I think anyone who has lost a child deserves that honesty. Because, you see, I cannot empathize their loss. I am so very sorry, and they have my deepest sympathy and most heartfelt prayers, but I have not been where they are. So I won’t claim I have.

When I recently read the article about the death of not one, but five children in a van crash in Florida, I imagined what the parents must be going through…

Don’t hide your grief from children. Grief can help bring you closer

…but like a great number of mothers (and fathers) after a bereavement, it wasn’t long before I attempted to pull myself together and go back to normal. And although at the heart of this was a desire to protect my daughter from my grief, I ended up distancing myself, creating a strained, unhealthy atmosphere. My understandable worry over the effect on her of what she’d seen made me cautious and reticent. It was as though we were communicating through glass, and the result was that I was no longer present as a mother in the way she needed me to be.

It’s impossible to be the parent you were after someone you love dies, because you aren’t the same person. But how do we explain this to our children? Death is one thing. But revealing your vulnerability too? This can feel irresponsible and unfair…

Hospice for Children: ‘Families Are Desperate and Need This’

Countless Americans understand and have grown to count on the irreplaceable quality of care and support that hospice provides when a loved one is terminally ill or dying. But there is a niche the palliative care program is looking to better serve: children. The Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, are working to become home…

Nearly 13,000 children up to age 19 die each year in the United States from an unintentional injury, and about 1,250 die of cancer nationwide. A discussion of hospice is not a conversation anyone wants to have; hope and healing are always the goal. But far too many families find themselves in this reality and are unsure of where to go to give their children the best possible last days if all other options have failed. [Read more…]

Grief Help: Care For Depression, Anxiety Helps War-Exposed Children

 children grief help

(Reuters Health) – Treating depression and anxiety in youngsters affected by war may have lasting benefits for their mental health and ability to function in society, new findings suggest. The study, of former child soldiers and other young people affected by Sierra Leone’s civil war, found that those with higher levels of anxiety and depression two… [Read more…]