Helping A Child Remember Someone Who's Died
When a loved one dies, it's natural for children to feel confused and scared. They may not understand what death is, or why their loved one has gone away. It's important to help children through the grieving process, and explain death in a way they can understand. Young children may have a harder time remembering those who have passed away, but it can be important for their development to be able to hold on to these memories.
Helping a child to remember their loved ones after they have passed away is a kind and compassionate thing to do. It can help them to understand grief, process their feelings and move on in a healthy way. Without this important step, the child may carry some guilt that they don't remember the person. Here are some tips on how to achieve this.
Make a memory box
A memory box is a place where children can put all their special memories of the person who has died. This can be anything from photos and letters to favourite toys and clothes. It's a way for them to keep hold of these things, and to look back on them when they're feeling sad.
The best part about a memory box is that it will be there when they need it but it can be packed away when they don't. This allows the child to understand that it's okay to feel sad about their loss sometimes, and it's also okay to move on and find some happiness.
Talk about the person who has passed away
Talking about the person who has died is a way for children to keep their memory alive. It also allows them to share their feelings and thoughts with you. This can be a difficult thing to do, but it's important to remember that children are grieving too.
You can talk about the person who has died in everyday conversation, or you can set aside some time each week to talk specifically about them. This is a good way to help children process their grief and to make sure they're still thinking about their loved one.
Make a photo album
A photo album is a great way for children to remember someone who has passed away. They can look through it whenever they want, and it's a way for them to keep the memories alive. Annotate the photo album so that the photographs have context. This will help the child to understand the photos and to remember the stories behind them.
Photographs can trigger powerful memories. So, even if the child doesn't have many memories of the person who has died, looking through a photo album can help to create new ones.
Visit their grave
If the person who died is buried, you can take the child to visit their grave. This can be a difficult thing to do, but it can be very helpful for children. Seeing the grave and being able to talk about their loved one in this tranquil setting can be very comforting. It will also give them a place they can visit as they get older and feel connected to their loved one.
Plant a tree or flower
Planting a tree or flower is a way for children to remember their loved one and to create a lasting memorial. It's also a way for them to feel connected to them. Planting something together is a special way to bond with your child and create a shared memory.
This activity can be done at any time, but it may be especially meaningful around the anniversary of the person's death. The tree will become a symbol of their love for the person who has passed away. It will give the child something to take care of and watch grow, and the tree or plant will get larger as their grief becomes more manageable.
Write a letter
Writing a letter to the person who has died is a way for children to express their thoughts and feelings. It can be a cathartic experience, and it can help children to understand and process their grief.
Reading the letter out loud, or even just writing it down, can be a very emotional experience. But it can also be incredibly healing. It's a way for children to say all the things they wish they could say to their loved one. They will then be able to read the letter when they are older to help them to remember everything they felt for the person when they were younger.
Make a digital vault
Forgetting a person's facial expressions, voice and mannerisms can be incredibly distressing for a child. And unfortunately, children are more likely to forget these things. Making a digital vault of videos, voice recordings and photographs can help the child to remember and process their feelings.
It will also provide them with a source of comfort as they get older, as they will always be able to refer back to their digital vault to find comfort and reassurance. Make sure you backup the files in multiple places so there is no risk of losing the files.
Create a memorial keepsake
A memorial keepsake is a physical embodiment of the person who has died. It can be anything from a piece of jewellery to a stuffed animal. The important thing is that it helps the child to feel close to their loved one.
Having a physical reminder of the person can be very comforting for children. It's something tactile that they can hold on to when they feel they need a little extra comfort or support.
Start a new tradition
Starting a tradition is a way for children to feel connected to their loved one. It can be something as simple as making a cake on their birthday or planting a tree on the anniversary of their death.
Traditions are a way of keeping the memory of someone alive. They give children something to look forward to and help them to process the passage of time without the person in their life.
These are just some of the ways you can help a child to remember someone who has died. It might not be an easy task, but it can help to ease their pain as they learn about grief for the first time.