Helping Your Tween With Grief

by Lettie Kirkpatrick Burress

My youngest son, Zane, was nearly 9 when his dad, Tom, lost his battle with cancer. I held Zane as his tears flowed and he whispered, "I’m afraid I’ll forget."

"It will not always hurt this bad," I assured him, "but we will never forget your dad."

Grief is painful, but remembering together can be comforting. I helped Zane remember his dad by encouraging him to keep a journal where he wrote letters to his dad. On Father’s Day, Zane tied a card to a balloon, and we visited the cemetery to release it. We looked at family photos and spoke often of Tom’s love for his four sons. Because Tom was Zane’s baseball coach, we gave an annual player scholarship in his memory.

Zane is now a 20-year-old — and we still remember.


This article appeared in the October/November 2012 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Lettie Kirkpatrick Burress. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.

Favorites

In the Shadow of Infertility

In the Shadow of Infertility

Support each other amid feelings of helplessness & grief

'A Ridiculously Good Life'

'A Ridiculously Good Life'

The inspirational love story of Nick & Kanae Vujicic

Stretching Their Limits

Stretching Their Limits

Encourage teens to test boundaries in positive ways

Book Reviews for Parents

Book Reviews for Parents

Read our teen and tween book reviews for parents.

Thriving Family Archives

Thriving Family Archives

Articles from the magazine and the website

Every Man's Destiny, Every Woman's Dream

read more >>

Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of Families

read more >>