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(for children) IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT

2 minute read

Dear Kids,

This page is for you. Please read it with your grown up.

When someone you love dies, the people around you are grieving too. You may feel as if you have to take care of them. You don't. They are feeling sad, mad, and afraid, just like you. It's not your fault. Someone dying is not your fault. People grieving is not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong.

You may feel like you need to cling to your living loved ones. You may want to stay near the people who feel safe and not let them out of your sight, for fear that they may leave or die, too. You may also feel angry at them. This is normal. You may feel mad that they weren't able to prevent your loved one from dying.

You may feel as if you did something to make your loved one get sick or die. You didn't. Nothing you did or didn't do, said or didn't say, caused your loved one to die.

You may wonder if your loved one is coming back. They are not. Their love is still with you, but they are not coming back. You can talk about them with family members, think about them, and still feel their love inside of you. Their death is not your fault.

People might say very silly, even stupid things to you that don't help you. Some people will say things or do things that are helpful for you. Stick close to them.

It's really hard when someone dies. When you lose a loved one, you get to develop courage. You can keep on living and learning. Even though you might feel different from other kids, you still belong. There is nothing wrong with you. Everybody has something hard they go through.

Do things that make you feel better or OK: read, do sports, play your musical instrument, make art. Try to stay connected with the people who are here and can remind you how much you are still loved. Because you are. You are still loved. Hold on to that love.

pp.22-23. Excerpted from “After Your Person Dies: Affirmations for Grief, Making Meaning, and Going On” by permission of Dr. Linda Shanti McCabe, author + illustrator. Self-published. Copyright 2021.

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