How Adults Can Help Children with Grief on The Doyenne of Death Podcast

Feb 23, 2023 | 0 comments

The Mirror Box cover - children and griefWhen children experience grief, sometimes it’s hard for adults to know how to help. Wade Bergner, author of The Mirror Box, has written a children’s book that is designed to help families understand and cope with grief. The Mirror Box is an honest story of one boy’s journey from grief to acceptance over the death of his grandfather.

He speaks with Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and host of The Doyenne of Death® Podcast.

Among the topics discussed:

  • How to talk about death with children.
  • The importance of language when discussing death.
  • How elders can plan to leave a meaningful gift before facing end-of-life.

The Mirror Box is the newest in Wade’s Emotional Agility Matters Children’s Book Series. Bergner Books proudly supports Together We Rise, a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works to provide a better experience for youth in foster care. 15% of all book net proceeds are being directed towards Together We Rise. Learn more at

How Adults Can Help Children with Grief on The Doyenne of Death Podcast

Tips to Help Children Cope with Grief

The death of a loved one is a difficult experience for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for children who may not have the same understanding and coping mechanisms as adults. Here are some ways that adults can help children grieve a death in the family:

  1. Be honest and clear: It’s important to use simple and honest language to explain what has happened. Avoid using euphemisms or abstract concepts that may confuse the child. Let them know that their feelings are valid and that it’s okay to be sad or angry.
  2. Answer their questions: Children may have a lot of questions about death, and it’s important to answer them in a way that is appropriate for their age and understanding. Be patient and open to their questions, and give them the space to express their thoughts and feelings.
  3. Provide a safe space for expression: Encourage the child to talk about their feelings and emotions, and provide a safe space where they can express themselves without judgment. This could be through talking, drawing, writing, or other creative activities.
  4. Keep routines and structure: Maintaining a sense of routine and structure can help children feel more secure and grounded during this difficult time. Stick to regular meal times, bedtimes, and other activities as much as possible.
  5. Seek support: If the child is struggling to cope, it may be helpful to seek support from a grief counselor, therapist, or other mental health professional. Support groups for children who have experienced loss can also be beneficial.
  6. Remember the person who has died: Encourage the child to remember and honor the person who has died. This could include creating a memory box, making a scrapbook, or planting a tree in their memory. Keeping the person’s memory alive can help the child process their grief and come to terms with their loss.

Remember that grief is a process and there is no “right” way to grieve. It’s important to be patient and supportive, and to meet the child where they are in their grief journey.

Here’s an interesting article about Movies That Help Parents and Children Understand Grief and Loss. You may find some of those suggestions to be helpful.

A Good Goodbye