When a child experiences profound loss, they often do not know how to process their feelings of grief. The adults in their lives can play a critical role in providing the guidance, love, and support they need to heal and honor their loved one.
Here are some powerful ways that both individuals and organizations can help a child heal.
Share a story of someone who has walked in their shoes
Since its release in 2017, The Memory Box has helped tens of thousands of children and families work through the complex emotions that arise after the loss of a loved one. It tells the story of a young child who creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of a loved one who has died.
Help them make a keepsake of their own
Beaming Books and Joanna Rowland, author of The Memory Box, have been so heartened by the positive impact that the book has had on the lives of children in grief that we’ve joined forces to create a new resource to help kids heal.
The Memory Book is a guided journal designed to help children and their loved ones process their emotions. Together they can remember their lost loved one by creating their own memory album full of photos and keepsakes. This journal brings comfort in the midst of loss through gentle prompts for journaling, drawing, and talking, helping kids and families navigate grief.
Bring them together with other children in grief
Bereavement staff at St. Jude Children’s Hospital hosted a mass read-along of The Memory Box during the memorial service at their annual remembrance event. St. Jude projected the book on a screen so parents could follow along as it was read to children and gave each family a copy of the book to take home with them.
Help them rally support at home and school
At the school where author Joanna Rowland teaches, she has seen the life-giving impact that support from others can have on a child experiencing grief. In one instance, the school counselor read The Memory Box with a young boy, inspiring him to open up to his classmates for support after losing his mother.
Provide extra care during the holidays
For those who have lost a loved one, the holidays can be an especially difficult time. In an effort to remind families and individuals that they have support, EveryStep Grief & Loss Services' Amanda the Panda program hand-delivers a holiday Cheer Box containing twelve thoughtful gifts meant to honor and remember a lost loved one during the holiday season. One of the items in the Cheer Box is The Memory Box: A Book about Grief.
“For many, reading provides a place to go when we have to stay where we are. The Memory Box is just that. Suitable for those both young and old, this gift has a story to be told.” –Megan Mondt, Amanda the Panda Program Coordinator
Have resources available in places where families often experience loss
Pastor Mary Lindberg, chaplain at Columbia Lutheran Home in Seattle, Washington, notes that “The Memory Box is a great resource for grandchildren and great-grandchildren when they lose a beloved family member.” She recommends this book to fellow nursing home chaplains and families to help little ones remember grandmas and grandpas.
How have you supported children in grief?
If you have found meaning and purpose in using The Memory Box or have found other ways to walk with children who are grieving, please share your Memory Box Moment with others looking for grief resources. Tag Beaming Books on social media and use the hashtag #MemoryBoxMoments. While none of us can stop children from experiencing grief, together we can find meaningful and life-giving ways to support them.