Rick, thanks for sharing. We often act as if death is the only source of grief, but as you have shared, there are so many losses we experience that cause us to grieve, and children especially need support in processing them. Giving them support and the opportunity to pause, reflect and remember is important in dealing with a child’s different grief experiences, but often we don’t take the time because we discount their losses.
I was a lawyer in my past life, and I while I haven’t been involved in a formal program like the Family in Transition Program, I definitely saw occasions when that type of program would have made a huge difference for children and families. Normalizing children’s experiences is so important, especially during those awkward tween and teen years when it is easy for a kid to feel like an outsider looking in anyway, as if your life experiences are totally different from the “norm.” And sharing feelings – my teenage son would rather eat Brussel sprouts than be emotionally vulnerable with other kids or people he doesn’t know – how important to create a safe space and give these children a chance to be vulnerable and share with one another.