sassysage's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Newtown

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  • Comments Off on Sage’s Rage: Don’t Let Sandy Win

my blog is normally dedicated to issues for girls and young women.  but this week i want to use it in service to those impacted by the Sandy Hook tragedy.

today is my last post on this issue.  where do we go from here?

this past week much of America and the world has been in shock over the terrible shootings that occurred at Sandy Hook elementary school.  those of us in the northeast have been especially torn apart. many of us have friends and family who live in newtown or attended the school.  we are tormented by the idea of trying to rise above what happened and it feels unthinkable to enjoy the holidays.

let us not forget that many of us in the northeast were also torn apart by super storm sandy.   storm sandy destroyed many homes, businesses and natural treasures in our neighborhoods.  we are still digging ourselves out of the mess that she left behind.  homes in new jersey, new york and perhaps even those in newtown still show the signs of how hard sandy hit our shores.

the two sandy’s were unexpected, unimaginable  and are still haunting our memories.   we are doing our best to figure out how we will go on…

and still we must.  come together, lean on each other and find uplifting messages to keep us going.  

that’s what happened to me last week when i was on vacation.  in a beautiful island with amazing beaches and crystal clear water there was a couple that seemed to be magically in love. they had a smile on their faces each day, a glistening in their eyes, lots of laughter and taking full advantage of all sights and fun.  i couldn’t help but ask if they were celebrating an anniversary or on their honeymoon. their response has stayed with me, especially given all that has happened this past week.

you see this couple decided to leave new york for a while after their home was destroyed by super storm sandy. they had almost nothing left of the place they lived with so many memories.  instead of staying in a state of misery, they decided to celebrate what they had.  they packed their bags and took a trip to find inspiration and renewal.   there weren’t trying to escape their problems. in fact they told me that each day they were on the phone with fema and contractors trying to get stuff done.  but in between the phone calls and waiting they decided to make the most of life, find peace and joy.

sandy holiday 12-12

this holiday season both sandy’s have left many people feeling sad, angry and pessimistic about life and our world.  let my vacationing couple be a guide to us all. don’t let the darkness draw you in.  find something that you can hold onto that will give you happiness while you try to get through the challenge.   we all can’t get away on a fancy trip but all it takes is a small step. yesterday while everyone was responding in disbelief to the NRA press conference.  i baked cookies while listening to holiday music.  it was such a joy.  find that small (or BIG) something that will inspire you to happiness.

we must refuse to let those sandy girls win.

 

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  • In: Uncategorized
  • Comments Off on Sage’s Rage: What Parents Can Do When Their Child is Grieving

my blog is normally dedicated to issues for girls and young women.  but this week i want to use it in service to those who may need help in this time of crisis.  this past year, i led a study funded by new york life foundation focused on child experiences with the death of a family member and their treatment/service needs.  i want to use the blog this week to share some of the information we learned and provide resources for those who may need it.

parent grieving child 12-18-12

today’s blog is focused on what parents can do

to help their grieving child

1- make sure to be there for your child. this may sound obvious but many of the families i spoke with mentioned that parents were so overcome with their own grief that they weren’t able to be there for their children. some children even reported that they pretended to be okay because they didn’t want to put extra stress on an already overburdened parent.   it is understandable that parents would be dealing with their own emotions regarding the death.  however, if you recognize that you are overcome with grief, please get professional help from a counselor, clergy or psychologist. your family needs you to be there for them and in order to do that, you have to be well.

2- give equal attention to your children.   this is generally a rule of thumb for parenting overall. but it’s even more important after a serious life event, like the death of a loved one.   every child will be dealing with the grief in different ways. some may seem more adjusted than others but that doesn’t mean they don’t need attention and support.   regardless of whether your children are young or teens, make sure to spend individual time with them talking about the death and their feelings. this rule should still apply in situations where the death impacts only one child and not the other siblings.

3- take it easy. this is the time to let go of trying to juggle everything.   so many of the parents we spoke with mentioned that they were not prepared to deal with all the challenges of the death plus the normal demands of running a household.  there was just too much for them to do.  so it’s important to get support.   ask your family and friends to help with laundry, get someone to cook some meals and freeze them for you, have a close friend watch the kids while you get some ‘me’ time.   try to get extra sleep, eat right and exercise so you can handle the stress associated with the death and your child’s grief.  this time with your family is so precious it’s important not to waste it away on household chores and errands.

Below is a very helpful resource for parents to help them when their child is grieving:

New York Life Foundation brochure with tips, websites and programs for parents 

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  • Comments Off on Sage’s Rage: How To Help A Child With Grief

i, like most of the world, am in shock over the tragedy at sandy hook elementary in newtown, ct.  how could anyone kill innocent children at school?  many people are calling for solutions before we even have answers to what happened.  i have my own thoughts but i feel like all of that must be placed on hold to support the families,  pay honor to the lives that were lost and praise those that courageously came to the rescue.  

my blog is normally dedicated to issues for girls and young women.  but this week i want to use it in service to those who may need help in this time of crisis.  this past year, i led a study funded by new york life foundation focused on child experiences with the death of a family member and their treatment/service needs.  i want to use the blog this week to share some of the information we learned and provide resources for those who may need it.  

today’s blog is focused on child grief and how to help a child dealing with the death of a loved one

"Good Grief" Camp Counsels Children Of Fallen Military Personnel

1- the most important thing is to talk about it. don’t sweep the death under the rug and try to hide the fact that the family member or loved one died. don’t make it seem like you are not upset and are not grieving too.  it’s important to explain to the child that death does happen and it happened to their loved one. if the child is old enough to understand the finality of death, lean on your faith to help explain what you believe may happen with the loved one now that they have died.

2- allow the child to go through their emotional process. children should have the freedom to cry, be quiet and ask questions.  be aware that it is normal for the child to experience some forms of acting out or anxiety.  some may wet the bed, be afraid to be left alone, regress to behaviors that they used to do when younger (e.g.- suck thumbs, carry a blanket etc.).  it is okay if these things happen initially. however, keep an eye out if they continue several months later.  if the behavior begins to turn for the worse (violent outbursts, refusal to go to school, bullying, depression), it’s important to get help from a trained professional (e.g., school counselor, support group, psychologist, clergy).

3- establish a memorial event. plan an event or activity that you as a family can do to remember the life of the loved one.  this can be the death anniversary, the person’s birthday or another day that has special significance.   during this time, your child can have an opportunity to remember their loved one in a positive way with support and encouragement. making it an annual event is an even better way to pay tribute.

the following are very good resources for helping children deal with grief:

Free Seasame Street DVD Resource Kit- ‘When Families Grieve’

http://www.promoxml.com/exchange_product.asp?SiteID=AW-NYLGRIEVE&pf_id=92192&SingleSearchResult=1

List of bereavement camps, support groups & programs for children experiencing death of a loved one

http://www.sesamestreet.org/parents/topicsandactivities/toolkits/tlc/griefresources#_2

Teen Grief Resource

http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/emotions/someone_died.html


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