On Thursday evening The Still Remembered Project welcomed Ms. Sheena Shannon from the Highmark Caring Place to lead our first educational presentation Sibling Grief: a Child’s Perspective. Sheena, a fellow bereaved mom, truly had the heart and mind to lead this discussion. In addition to providing general information about the dimensions of grief, she offered amazing insight into the minds of children at various stages with matching tips and suggestions for how to support our children in troubling times.
The attendees took away practical knowledge that will be useful for years to come. Here are some takeaways:
- Adult presence is so important
- Be open with sharing memories. When a rainbow baby is born after a sibling died, it is you that will help create the memories. Check out our Still Family page for Ways for Children to Remember their Sibling
- For younger children, they don’t understand the concept of permanence. Sheena shared that children see death as, “go to the store and come back, go to the store and come back, go to heaven and come back”.
- Adults have learned to bottle and contain their grief, whereas children outwardly express their grief. She specifically stated that one of the ways children express emotions are through their drawings.
- Children don’t have to understand everything all at once. For example, Sheena talked about the word “cremation”. To a younger child, the technical aspects of that word would appear to be scary. She suggested to talk about death instead. For an older sibling, they may have more questions about the science of death and cremation.
Sheena showered the audience with beautiful stories and related examples from her decades of working with children of all ages.
The Still Remembered Project would like to thank Sheena and the Highmark Caring Place for this unique opportunity. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with these local experts!