Resources for Grief and Loss
Sharon A. Neumann is an Advanced Grief Specialist and sibling of founding member of the IFOPA Nancy Sando. During the 2021 Virtual FOP Family Gathering Sharon shared her presentation "When Your Heart Hurts: Weaving the threads of loss and change into the beautiful tapestry of your life!" with the FOP community. You can watch a recording of her presentation by clicking the video below.
Sharon shared the following recommendations for readings to support individuals coping with grief and loss:
- Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief by Martha Hickman
- Finding Chika by Mitch Albom
- Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
- Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief by Joanne Cacciatore
- When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner
- Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe by Lara Lynne Jackson
- It's Ok That You're Not Ok: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand by Megan Devine
Supporting Children's Understanding of Death
A child’s ability to understand and respond to the death of someone they know are influenced by their ability to make meaning of what has happened and process information on a level that they can cognitively and emotionally understand. The chart below provides an idea of where a child might be in their perception of death based on age and their cognitive development as well as some suggestions for supporting that child in their coping process.
Continuing the Relationship: Memorializing a Loved One
Coping with the death of a loved one is a lifelong process. There is no one right way to grieve but many people find that discussing the memories they have of their deceased love one can be very therapeutic and beneficial for the healing process. If this is helpful for you or your child let others know that you want to continue to talk about your loved one.
Creating both verbal and non-verbal outlets to continually express and process emotions as they evolve over time is a significant tool in the grieving process. Examples of these outlets include:
–Writing stories or poems documenting one’s experience or memories of time spent with their loved one
–Planting a seed to grow a tree or other living thing in the person’s honor
–Creating scrapbooks or photo collages to store photos and memories
–Creating a special day to annually get together with friends or family and celebrate the person’s life