Grief Camps for Kids: A Way to Restore Your Child's Hope After a Loss by Roxane Goss
Grief is a natural and normal response to death and is a long process. Many children cope well with their loss, but all need the support of people around them. Their reactions to bereavement are affected by many factors. These may be related to who has died, how they died, what their relationship was with the person who has died.
Some children may appear to be completely unaffected by grief. They may try to hide their feelings so as to not burden others. It’s natural for them to be extremely upset one minute and fine the next. Children don’t know how to verbalize or express their grief. Common reactions among bereaved children include:
- Fear they too, or their other parent, may die.
- Display of regressive behaviors.
- Feelings of severe guilt as if they had caused it.
- Anxiousness about separating from parent.
- Feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- Sleep problems.
- Feeling different from their peers.
Grief camp is effective in helping children grieve. It enhances self-esteem and promotes inclusivity fostering friendship. The camp environment increases levels of hope and is a place for children to learn they are not alone. There are grief camps throughout the U.S, Canada and the world.