Talking to your Children about the Paris Attacks

Posted on Nov 22, 2015 in General Grief, Uncategorized


Children often hold vs. share their thoughts and feelings. So adults shouldn’t assume their children aren’t thinking about Paris because they’re not talking about it.

It is critical to set aside family time after any tragedy. The more time together, the greater chance of having a meaningful conversation.

Psychologist Paul Coleman and author of Finding Peace When Your Heart Is in Pieces, was interviewed often this week about how to talk with children about the Paris tragedy. He says it is naive to expect a blanket statement such as “Don’t worry – nothing to will ever happen to you” to be helpful.

What is possible vs. what is probable
Psychologist Michael Yapko agrees with Coleman about how best to confront anxiety over future uncertainty: consider the difference between what is possible and what is probable.

How do you explain this concept to a young child?

You might say, “It is possible something like Paris could happen but it isn’t likely.” Nothing has happened in our community like this before, and it isn’t likely that it ever will. But if there is an emergency this is what you should do.”

Continue from there to give them a plan: who should they listen to; who do they call if they have a phone, etc. Creating a plan is engaging and will give them a sense of power.

What I have suggested above is only part of longer conversations that need to take place.

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The Loss of Chipper, a Golden Retriever

Posted on Dec 30, 2014 in General Grief, Pet Loss, Uncategorized


Marty Tousley, author of, is the giant on whose shoulders other grief blogger’s stand. Instead of our intended post, we have decided to end the year with her post Voices of Experience: 7 Things Chipper Taught Me about Life and Business.

Most of us have had our hearts broken by the loss of a pet, but I wonder how many of us have the wisdom to allow our pets to teach us how to live a richer life.

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Advent Reflection on Life, Sorrow, & Loss

Posted on Dec 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

Source:   On Being


Jay Blossom turns our frame of reference from feeling that grief conflicts with the joy of Christmas—to reminding us that the Advent was a time of mourning as well as joy—for Jesus was born into a sorrowful world.

Blossom says:

I suppose there is nothing inherently tragic about an elderly parent dying. My dad lived well and long, and burying parents is a principal duty of children in every culture and every age. And there’s certainly nothing exceptional about putting down a 17-year-old cat. But we feel the loss, especially at this time of year, even though the loss itself is natural and normal. We miss our dads and our pets. We grieve our childhood home, friends who have hurt us, people in authority who have let us down. And sometimes we weep over bigger, truly tragic events — a typhoon’s destruction, children murdered in their school, a society that seems off the rails.

But just as waiting is part of Advent, so is mourning a part of Christmas….

Read the entire article from On Being by clicking here.

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