After 50 years of teaching, local author Dr. Geraldine L. Haggard understands how kids deal with grief. So as a resource for Journey of Hope, a Plano grief support center, she wrote two books: Ben’s Island Dream and Remembering Grandpa, Bernice’s Family Flag. At Journey of Hope, the focus is on STRANDS, phases of recovery through which kids move in no particular order, according to Haggard. These include realizing that death is final (so kids know they haven’t just “lost” grandpa), beginning to use good memories and understanding the need for lifelong support, among others.
Parents and teachers can support a grieving child by making it clear they are available, says Haggard. And Haggard says it’s vital to let a child recognize the emotions that come with grief: that may involve tearing up a newspaper to deal with anger. Check out Haggard’s books or learn more about Journey of Hope; visit www.johgriefsupport.org.