Bereavement Resources for Kids
As confusing as death and bereavement are for adults, it can be even more confusing for children, who may not have experienced anything like the loss of a loved one before. It can be difficult to explain what's happening to a child, and to help them cope with their feelings of grief.
Fortunately, there are many tools that parents can use to help their children through the grief process-special programs, such as the STAR program, that walk children through the visitation and funeral process; books like Yvonne Butler Clark's It's Okay to Cry; and even videotapes that explain bereavement and grief.
"Max and Nellie's Journey Through Grief" is one such program. Produced by West Virginia's Old Brick Playhouse, the Max and Nellie video combines live actors, puppets, masks, and music to tell the story of two children who begin their journey through grief when their grandfather dies.
Max and Nellie are concerned about their very ill grandfather, and go to visit their good friend Miles, a friendly talking dog. Miles explains what's happening to their grandfather, and then takes the children on a magical train ride that explores the issues of loss and bereavement in a creative, entertaining format that children respond to warmly.
During part of the journey, Max, Nellie, and Miles observe a family of puppets at a viewing. The puppets express their grief, crack jokes, and generally exhibit the range of reactions that are often observed at the time of a death. The children ask Miles questions about what's going on, and she explains that people have mixed feelings at the time of great loss, and that many people cope with grief through humor.
The video ends on a positive note, with the children creating a memory box of things that remind them of their grandfather, and then indulging in one of his favorite pastimes, fishing, with their friend Miles. This excellent program helps children understand what happens when a loved one dies in an engaging, friendly, and entertaining way.
You can learn more about the Old Brick Playhouse and their video, Max and Nellie's Journey with Grief," here on our site; you can also visit their website or even order a copy of the video.