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Judy Helm Wright, of Missoula, Montana is a wise woman with a global message. As an author of over 20 books on Amazon, she writes about Responsibility, Respect & Resiliency.

Judy is a popular motivational speaker and has worked all over the world with families and groups just like yours.

You will find her warm, witty and wise as she guides and mentors others to be their best self.
Judy Helm Wright | judyhwright

Death In The Family - Handling Grief and Loss

Jul 8th 2010 at 11:29 AM

What is dead? What if we bury Grandpa and then he wakes up? Will I die if I go to sleep? I hate him for dying, he said he would take me fishing. Death in the family is always difficult, but more so when it is someone close who is trying to deal with the grief.

We Have All Lost Something or Someone

Each one of us will at some point in our lives lose something or someone who is very precious to us. While I may not know exactly how you feel, and it would be presumptuous to say that, I have experienced the terrible loss of someone central in my life.

As children we encountered family deaths, divorces or transitions that were painful and confusing. Many adults tell me the most painful death they have experienced was the loss of a beloved pet as a child. Many parents do not realize the depth of love that a child may feel for a pet, and so will treat the incidence with little regard for feelings.

As we look back at our life experiences, it is how the first encounter of death is handled, that sets a pattern for the rest of our lives. If all members of the family are allowed to express their feelings openly and get questions answered honestly, it can bring a closeness and healing.

Finding Windows Of Hope

Many times parents will assume that by not talking about the death of a close family member, they will somehow protect their children from the sadness and worry. On the contrary, children tend to "feel the tension" and wonder about what has happened. Because their scope and experience is so small, they may blame themselves for causing the death.

They also may keep the grief inside, where it causes a hurt that never heals. The best way to handle either an impending death or the actual loss is to talk openly and feel comfortable expressing emotions. When relatives and friends are more inclusive of the whole family, it encourages healing and hope.

Questions To Think About

  1. What was your first experience losing a loved one? Was it a pet or a person?
  2. How did adults involve you in the grief process?
  3. Were you allowed to say good by in your own way?
  4. Did you feel a closure?
  5. What would you recommend other families do deal with losing someone close to death?

You are invited to share insights and observations at You will also be able to claim a free report on coping with grief, loss and change. You will be glad you did.

Thanks for joining our community of caring parents, family members,coaches, teachers and mentors who want to help raise a generation of responsible adults who respect others.

You are welcome to use this article in your blog or magazine. Please give credit to Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker.

Please to comment
Dec 18th 2010 at 9:08 PM by blackfolder1
I have always owned pets, currently I have 5 dogs, and even as an adult when one of them dies it affects me profoundly!
Jul 26th 2010 at 5:40 PM by haroon132
Great Article Judy I think your right about people starting to learn about death from their Pet's death first and also sometimes they have to deal it on their own because Parents don't take it seriously and sometimes hurt their child's feelings.

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