CECIL COUNTY — Children’s Grief Awareness Day is Nov. 19. The day is designed to help all of us become more aware of the needs of grieving children, and of the benefits they receive through the support of others.
CGAD attempts to bring attention to the fact that often support can make all the difference in the life of a grieving child. We have all heard about the resilience of children. But, they need to be given tools to become resilient. The death of someone close is just the beginning of weeks, months, and years of finding ways to move on and grow without that special person in their lives.
Before they graduate from high school, one out of every 20 children will have a parent die. One in 5 will experience the death of someone close by age 18.
Children who have experienced the death of someone important to them feel alone, that no one understands what they are suffering through. These children need advocates. Someone to help them understand that their grief is normal, and to let them know that however long their grieving takes is okay.
In Cecil County every elementary, middle, and high school in the public school system has had children who have experienced the death of someone they loved. Private and parochial schools in the county have also had grieving children in their classes.
Cecil County has had a program to help these children successfully come to terms with their new normal. The In-School Bereavement Program has helped children in Cecil County for over 20 years.
But it’s important that adults understand that grieving children need to be supported, not ignored. Their grief will not go away just because you don’t talk about it.
Children who are supported in the grief are 9 times less likely to drop out of school, 10 times less likely to turn to substance abuse, 5 times less like to complete suicide, and 20 times less likely to develop a behavioral disorder.
If they are going to have a successful future, our grieving children need our support now. To show your support, wear blue on November 19, share your support on social media, and go to www.childrensgriefawarenessday.org and find out what else you can do to show your support.