Supporting children affected by separation
Children need support through traumatic changes in their lives. In our society we have special grief and loss ceremonies, like the funeral of a grandparent, where children can participate and have an opportunity to grieve within a supportive
gathering of close family and friends.
However, when children are affected by the separation of their parents, there is generally no clear gathering of support and acknowledgement.
Always Yours ceremony may reduce the complexity of a child’s grief, by empowering them with information, support and understanding and an opportunity to grieve. The parents’ expressions of love and commitment to their continuing roles as individual parents, and the values they will continue to uphold, can be hugely reassuring to a child.
Always Yours could include gratitude for the past, acknowledgement of the current situation, and the grief that this is causing, with assurances that it is not their fault and the parents are never separating from them, the children.
New beginnings may be discussed. The child's closest circle of support may also pledge their continuing love and support.
This is a vulnerable time. The power of a beautiful and gentle ceremony, appropriate for the maturity of each child, can help with feelings of security and understanding, in the knowledge that they are important, loved and cherished, no matter what.
Always Yours is a great start to opening-up communication within the family, to focus on the children and to empower them to be part of the conversation.
*Note: I am not a psychologist. My background is nursing and palliative care, and I'm comfortable sitting with grief. This does not replace the need for professional counselling. I have my Blue Card but am not needing to meet with children separately. It is more about guiding the adults, who are often overwhelmed themselves, towards supporting the children.