By Siobhán O’Neill White
So many of us have lost loved ones over the past year and grieving has been made even more difficult with lockdown and restrictions. In January we lost my beloved Nanny Tess. She was a fabulous woman and we were so sad to lose her. It was extremely difficult that only 10 people attend her funeral. Then, in March, we suddenly and unexpectedly lost my husband’s Mother. She was a very active woman and as she was only in her 70’s, the shock of her passing has been very traumatic to process. Our children are devastated. They have had days where they cried in school or couldn’t get to sleep because they were so upset. Again, the funeral was very restricted and caused us alot of pain and sadness. Not being able to have her siblings and son-in-law in for the service felt cruel and wrong. As so many of us are navigating bereavement, we asked parenting coach, Allen O’Donoghue, from Help Me to Parent, for some advice on dealing with bereavement as a family. He says:1) to take care of yourself and look at what is going on for you as a parent;2) try not to hide your own grief from your children, seeing you be upset or know that you are upset, may give them “permission” to grieve themselves;3) try not to force them to talk or worry if they don’t show emotion, sometimes they need to just try and process things for themselves;4) just listen to them, if they come to you upset, let them experience their emotions and reassure them that it is absolutely okay to feel how they feel;5) if you have a child who generally doesn’t want to show emotion, let them know that it is okay to cry and be upset, but that they don’t have to do it in front of anyone;6) you could get a notebook to let them write how they were feeling if they need to;7) get professional support if they really need it.For more advice, contact Allen at: r 086-805840 for support.