The death of a family member is a major life stressor for any grown-up, so you can imagine how much harder it is for kids. Tweens who are dealing with death may be especially vulnerable since they are already facing so many changes with their bodies and on a social level. All this can easily get overwhelming. Here are some things that you can do to help your tween prepare for cremation services and that final goodbye to a loved one.
Provide a Meaningful Gift
As a tween is preparing for the cremation service, a gift can not only communicate your care in tangible way but can also be a practical tool to help with the grieving process. You may offer a blank scrapbook with all sorts of accessories like stickers, markers, and pictures of the lost loved one. A tween can turn that into a memory book. Also, there are a variety of books that are tween-friendly that can help with grief. Among them are:
- "Fire in My Heart, Ice in My Veins: A Journal for Teens Experiencing a Loss" by Enid Samuel-Traisman (Although it has "teen" in the title, it is accessible to tweens. In fact, having "teen" in the title may increase its appeal to them.)
- "Wishes for One More Day" by Melanie Joy Pastor
- "Fall of Freddie the Leaf" by Leo Buscaglia
Some tweens may not be open to discussing their grief. It can just be too overwhelming for words. A young person needs to express the pain, though, or it can have a severely negative impact on them in the near or distant future. Offer counseling as an option. That way, the tween can open up and get out their feelings under the care of a professional who can provide guidance and help them work through the painful process of dealing with the loss. Counseling is a good idea for any young person or adult who is facing this pain. Having the first therapy session before a cremation service can help a tween be better prepared to deal with what can be a very emotional event. Your tween can also talk to the funeral home who is handling the loved one's affairs or a home such as Holmes Funeral Home to learn what the cremation service will be like.
Finally, keep in mind that you need to judge what's best for your tween based on your thorough knowledge of them. Although some advice may be great for most kids, your tween may not respond to it. As long as you express your care and allow the open flow of emotions that is sure to pour out of your tween throughout the grieving process, you are on the right track. Simply try these tips and discover what works for your tween and your family.