Tag Archives: grieving children

Bittersweet Day for Princes William and Harry

I couldn’t help but think about these two fine young men during the last few months leading up to this royal wedding day. How bittersweet this time must have been for them. I’m sure memories of their beloved mother, Princess Diana, must have come flooding back.

It is so natural and normal on milestone days like today, Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s wedding day, that he and his brother, Prince Harry, would have envisioned what today and the months leading up to today, could have been like had their mother been alive to enjoy it all with them.

Once you’ve lost a loved one, especially as a young person, you go through life thinking ‘what if’. What if they were here to lend advice, counsel and comfort. What if Diana could have been a wonderful friend to Kate. What if she had helped me plan this day.

Even after a loved one have passed many, many years ago, on special days like this we tend to reminisce and picture what it could have been like and melancholy feelings can arise. And often do.

Congratulations to the future King and Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Perfect name, don’t you think? So…does this make us nearly related?

Kids Who Grow Stronger After Trauma

I wanted to share with you a recently published article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Kids Who Grow Stronger After Trauma” by Sue Shellenbarger which speaks about the length of time it takes for our young ones to deal with significant trauma in their lives.

This is the very reason we raise funds at the Foundation for Grieving Children…to give to community-based organizations which help children work through their pain and loss after a loved one’s death.

I encourage you to learn more by clicking on the links above.

Uniting Children of Vietnam War Heroes

Today on Memorial Day 2010, I was so delighted to learn about a wonderful organization which was started 20 years ago to unite the children of the 58,260 men who were killed in the Vietnam War.

“Sons and Daughters in Touch” will celebrate their Dads’ lives this Father’s Day, June 20th, as they do each year on this special day, by gathering at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at 10:00 a.m. in Washington, D.C.

Its leader, Tony Cordero, lost his dad when he was quite young and I commend him for providing such a heartwarming and healing opportunity for hundreds of thousands of children, who are now adults, who lost their fathers during the Vietnam War.

No one helps us heal better than another person who has walked in our exact shoes. They lived through seeing their Dad come home for short periods of time and be redeployed. They and their family members lived with the fear of not knowing whether he would return. Members of SDIT know exactly what it’s like to walk in those shoes. And nothing could bring more comfort than sharing with a fellow survivor.

If you know of a family who survived the loss of a father, son, brother, uncle, cousin or other relative in Vietnam, please forward this information to them.

I applaud Mr. Cordero and the countless volunteers who help children, whatever their age, acknowledge their grief and celebrate the lives of their beloved Dads.

Paris Jackson…What Grief Looks Like

Regardless of whether you enjoyed Michael Jackson’s music, admired his career and his life, or not, he must be given credit for raising such wonderful children.

On Thursday, at his memorial service, the world saw very clearly what a grieving child looks like. Paris Jackson, in all her pain, mustered the courage to speak for herself and her brothers about their Dad and the man he was to her and them.

For a young child to decide it was so important to let the world know what her father meant to her, speaks volumes of the way she was raised and the love she felt for her Dad.

I was amazed at the continued reactions by the media covering the event. I guess for me, who has seen the enormous effect the death of a loved one can have on a child, it seemed slightly insincere. Inside I was thinking, “have they not ever witnessed someone in deep pain before? Had they never, in all their years of reporting, not seen real, raw emotions when a person knows this particular day will change their life forever? Had they never know the death of someone close to them in their life yet?”

Grieving children are everywhere. Sometimes we get to see it up close and Paris gave the world a very clear picture of what that level of pain is like. For a short, very personal, moment, she allowed the world to see just what the loss of a father can do.

While she may not know it, her courage and her comments have helped millions better understand the devastating emotions that will undoubtedly continue to rise up for her and her family in the weeks, months and even years to come.

Grief is never easy…it is not pretty…at times it’s even messy, because all of us grieve differently and at different times. And the unnerving thing about it is that until we’re in the thick of it ourselves we rarely will know how and when we will react to it.

So I applaud Paris Jackson’s courage. For with her very brief comments she helped the world better understand that a child’s grief is real and difficult and yet, when expressed, can have a powerful impact on others.