A Child's View: Back to School

BY: Colleen Thompson, LSW

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss
PUBLICATION: About Grief

The end of summer; the end of sleeping in; the end of slacking off! 


For many grieving kids, fall can feel like another ending. You may even feel a little afraid to leave the safety of home and family. Nothing and nobody is the same since the death.

But fall can also feel like a new beginning: new teachers, new supplies, new friends, maybe even a new school. Some kids actually feel relieved to get back to the routine. You may be glad to take a break from all the memories and sadness and want to focus on something else for a change.

Unfortunately, sometimes "focusing" is the problem. Science or math might be interesting, then suddenly you remember all over again. Maybe someone asks you about your loved one or says something mean. Maybe you want to cry or yell or maybe you just can't seem to think anymore. It's normal to have these kind of experiences.

Sometimes you may even need to get a little support from a teacher, school counselor or children's bereavement coordinator. Attending a bereavement group with other grieving kids can help you cope and feel less alone.

Grief is exhausting and can feel overwhelming. Try to get enough rest and exercise. Spend some time walking around outdoors and watching the seasons change. If you forget things, make checklists of your daily assignments and goals.

Checking off completed tasks can help you stay organized and feel more in control. 

Some days will be better than others. The goal is not to be perfect, just persistent! Every day is a new opportunity to try again. That's probably just what your loved one would want you to do.  

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