Mandi Zucker joins Dr. Gloria Horsley to talk about Imagine, a center for coping with loss located in New Jersey. They target children ages 3-18 as well as their families. Children living with an illness in the family, as well as those who’ve lost someone they love, need a special kind of support. For adults who are grieving themselves, balancing life, loss, and a little one who’s grieving can be a huge challenge. There are more women than men who seek out grief support, but Imagine is open to men and women alike. Still, there are more moms at the center than dads.
It’s a lot of work for women to suddenly take on the role of two genders. There are roles and responsibilities that someone takes on in each family. When someone dies, you need to quickly learn how to handle all the responsibilities. Find as much support as you can. There’s a lot of help out there, but it takes effort to find it. The most important thing is to look for opportunities to get support where you can.
Zucker points out that many times, women take on the burden of being the overprotective caregiver as well as the head of the household right after a loss. While this is a noble goal, it’s unrealistic. Keep in mind that children watch adults to get cues on how to act and grieve. If adults are pretending everything is fine and not talking about the death, children may think that’s how they’re supposed to behave. One of the biggest mistakes adults make is not talking to kids.
However, children will grieve in their own way, and it’s not always with spoken words. Let them come to you, teach you how they want to grieve, and take the wheel.