Supporting Children Grieving The Death Of A Parent: Three Steps Of Being To Guide You In Being Present With Dr. Christine Kiesinger

Widowhood Real Talk | Dr. Christine Kiesinger | Grieving Children

  It’s not about having the perfect words, but the genuine willingness to share the silence and hold the space. In this episode, Dr. Christine Kiesinger discusses how to support grieving children. She shares stories of actual children who have gone through losses of a parent or loved one. The children don’t want to be treated differently because of their grief. Dr. Christine shares how there are some ways to support them and make them feel understood without unintentionally isolating them. She also opens up about the delicate topic of dating and marrying a widow, how trauma affects the professional practice of coaching, and more. Tune in now and learn how to become present for a child in need. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Supporting Children Grieving The Death Of A Parent: Three Steps Of Being To Guide You In Being Present With Dr. Christine Kiesinger Our guest in this episode, Dr. Christine Kiesinger is going to provide some very helpful information. Her knowledge professionally and personally is going to bring us to cover a conversation regarding supporting children who are grieving, dealing with trauma in the workplace, and other things that I know you will benefit from. Let’s get into the discussion now.     Welcome, Dr. Christine Kiesinger. We have our beverages. You look very beautiful and I’m over here in my little sports gear. I feel a little underdressed. That necklace is so beautiful. Thank you. It’s good to be here. I’ve been looking forward to this. I want to acknowledge and applaud you for your willingness to talk so openly about what we don’t talk about. Thank you so much. Life needs us to show up in a way that is organic, that is freeing for people. You would think as much as we transition the past, become ancestors, then we would be better at this conversation, but we’re not. After the death of my husband, I was extremely fortunate that my community not only showed up, but they brought camping gear. They were tense. They have not left. Mark died in 2017 and they are still on board and they are saying, “What can we do?” However, I’ve realized that I’m the minority in that. Most people have come to a place a year out that they no longer feel comfortable talking about their situation. Within six months, they’ll have people ask them, “Are you done with that?” They’re muted and hurting. Also, the children don’t have a voice in this scenario. I am grateful and humbled for each person such as yourself to take your time out to have a conversation purely for the idea of sharing experiences and knowledge to help somebody else. I appreciate the invitation. I like to talk about what I call invitational communication, and that is, “Can I communicate in such a way that I open a door for us to talk authentically and for us to talk about the hard things?” When you say something like six months out of a major loss, people wonder, “Are you finished with the grief or halfway there,” as if it’s some sort of destination. I try hard not even to use the word grief. For me, it’s grieving. I truly believe and based on my own experience that grieving is always there. It just shows up differently depending on your developmental stage and what’s happening in your life. It gets expressed differently. It’s experienced differently, but it’s not done. I would fully agree with that and that is the reality that people need to come to terms with. Oftentimes people say, “I want to be done with this. I want this to be fixed.” The only way that it would be fixed is if the person we love is no longer dead. That option does not exist. This is not going to be fixed but I, as the person who is grieving, can learn how to manage it and as you said, with the right developmental skills. I have spoken with people 10, and 20 years out from the death of a loved one. I know everyone travels this on their own path, but I’m speaking in regard to someone who doesn’t want to be stuck. They are stuck in a place where they feel like everything feels like it happened and they’ve not given themselves permission, the opportunity, or the knowledge to be able to say, “I can change how I manage this grief. Also, going to therapy is an option. Talking out loud to a grief coach is an option and also, journaling. Still talking to my loved one if they’re not there, but they have stepped in inside. They show up on the outside looking like everything is fine, but they go back home, they sit, and nothing has happened. They are sad. They don’t connect with other people. They feel isolated. On the outside, they’re fine, but inwardly, they’re right there and they have not been able to unstick themselves. Those conversations that I have with people and they go, “I can do that. I can take my home that we lived in and rearrange furniture because my mind memory says they’re going to be here because everything looks the same.” These conversations are extremely helpful. One of the things that this whole thing reminds me of is sometimes I will say to people, “You have the right to have a relationship with your grieving. You have a right to have a relationship to the loss.” Sometimes that is the question. This …

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