Program to Help Kids Deal with Grief

Article excerpt

Byline: Barbara Ferguson

Sad to say but it seems as if the past month has been one where funerals have taken center stage. They were impossible to escape as they were on the television, in the newspapers.

They were on the covers of magazines and were major topics of conversation and interest with everyone.

These deaths, however tragic, were far enough removed from us that they really didn't make a significant impact on our lives.

This is not always the case because sometimes these events take place in our own families.

It might not be a death but it could be a divorce, a separation or even abandonment as well. It is for occasions such as these that the Rainbows program was developed.

It is a peer support group for children in preschool through eighth grade. It will be offered this years at St. Catherine of Siena School in West Dundee, at the intersection of routes 72 and 31 across from Spring Hill Mall. It is open to everyone.

When changes such as these take place in a family, there is a profound affect on the entire family.

Children as well as adults grieve over the loss of a loved one who was once a part of their everyday life. Grief is an expression of love.

It is a normal human reaction to a significant loss. But children are not able to express their grief verbally; so, it surfaces in their behavior, schoolwork, as a physical ailment, or it affects their emotional development.

Rainbows provides the guidance children need to work through their grief.

Because parents are hurting, too, they often are unable to see how much their children are suffering. …