How can children spiritually cope with death and dying?

HOSPICE CHAPLAINCY

Kenneth J. Doka, M.Div., Ph.D.

As children encounter illness, loss and grief — whether their own or someone close to them — they seek to understand those events and to make sense of their experiences. This inevitably is a spiritual process as they turn to their beliefs, faith narratives, rituals and practices.

They may not yet have the cognitive capacity to reach conclusions, yet they yearn for an explanation of events that are sometimes difficult, if not impossible, for even adults to answer. Their questions may show innocence and naiveté. For example, when her maternal grandmother died, my 3-year-old granddaughter took comfort from the belief that even though her grandmother was no longer physically present on earth, she would watch over her from heaven. However, this led to a very practical concern: Would her grandmother be able to see her on the toilet — a potent issue as she was…

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About Sue Rosenbloom, CT, MA

Thanatologist: Loss, Trauma, Crisis, Death, and Grief Educator - My blog is for educational purposes only. I am not a licensed professional counselor - Bachelor of Arts in Human Studies - Marylhurst University (2007) Certificate in Thanatology - Hood College (2008) Master of Arts in Thanatology - Hood College (2009) Certificate in Thanatology - The-Association for Death Education and Counseling (The highest level of loss and grief education). * Hospice, Alzheimer's and Senior's Advocate * Former first responder for Trauma Intervention Program, Inc. (TIP) * Former Hospice and Bereavement Volunteer for Providence Hospice Bereavement Program * Association for Death Education and Counseling Member * National Alliance for Bereavement of Children * Hood College Thanatology Association * American Group Psychotherapy Association * Hospice, Loss, Grief and Bereavement Researcher
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