The holidays are upon us once again. It’s the time of year when families come together to celebrate the fact they are just that, family. But what is meant to be a time of thankfulness and celebration for many is also a time of pain and hopelessness for many others. The feelings of grief and loss are magnified during the holiday season. The void of an absent loved one is felt with every opening of a door and every pass of a holiday dish. The death of a parent or significant person can turn what would be reasons for celebration into reminders of heartache. This is a time marked by feelings of loneliness for many grieving children.

 

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. — C.S Lewis

 

Children’s Grief Awareness Day is observed every third Thursday in November. This day is meant to shed light on a real issue that affects real children. Here are three reasons why you should consider observing Children’s Grief Awareness Day on November 15:

Grieving children need your voice

Many grieving children live their lives without a voice. It’s hard to find a voice when your world falls apart. Grieving children need a voice, not one that speaks for them but one that tells others to listen. Awareness requires dialogue. Grieving children have a voice but they often need someone to start the conversation. Children’s Grief Awareness Day offers an opportunity to become that conversation starter.

Grieving children need to know someone cares

Loneliness is one of the worst feelings in the world. It’s bad enough when we don’t have someone around to share the good things with, it’s soul-crushing when we don’t have anyone we can share our struggles with. Grieving children need to know that they are not alone in the way they feel, that there are others who are facing similar challenges. They also need to know that there are caring people around who will not let them struggle in isolation. Children’s Grief Awareness Day offers an opportunity to practice compassion.

Grieving children need to know that it’s okay to grieve

After a tragedy, the pieces of a “normal life” are hard to pick up, instead, they are often swept underneath our emotional rugs. Sometimes those pieces stay there for years. Many children are not given time to grieve. Life moves on but the void of a lost loved one always remains. Sadly, some children simply don’t know that it’s okay to grieve. Children’s Grief Awareness Day offers an opportunity to show them it’s okay to grieve and that they are supported in their grief journey.

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. The only thing separating us from grief is a tragic moment. But it shouldn’t take a tragedy to stir our hearts towards empathy, it only requires a willingness to stand by someone else’s side, knowing that we would want the same.

Visit the National Alliance for Grieving Children and Children’s Grief Awareness Day to explore the ways you can participate and show your support for grieving children in your area this month and on November 15, 2018.

Originally posted on: https://jpippin.wixsite.com/jacobpippin on November 14, 2017