Sadly, this is something I know all too well. I hope it helps you. –Rev. Mrs. Mommy
There are few things more traumatic to a child than losing one of their parents. If they’re young, then they won’t be able to fully understand what has happened. If they’re teenagers, they’ll understand what has happened, but won’t have the emotional tools to handle the situation. While you’ll also be suffering from the loss of your child’s other parent, it’s important that you take steps to make sure the young ones are able to cope with the death. We outline ways to do this below.
Hide Your Emotions…To a Degree
You’re going to be a whirl of emotions following the death of your partner. You’ll feel like curling up into a ball and crying for hours on end. And you should do this, if that’s what you need. However, it’s important that you don’t do this in front of your child. They’re going to be looking to you for guidance, and you need to be strong in order to be there for them. Of course, don’t act like everything’s fine. It’s perfectly OK to show your sadness, but just take steps to do in a calm – rather than hysterical – way.
Take Care of Practical Matters
Again, you’ll feel like hiding from the world, but you don’t have that option – your children need you. They need to have a tidy home, food on the table, and so on. You can call in friends and family to help with some practical matters, but others, like money issues, will have to be dealt with by you. You should review household bills and make sure you’re able to cover everything now that you only have one income. Claim on your partner’s life insurance policy, and, if their death wasn’t their fault, check to see if you have a claim for compensation by visiting SeekingJustice.com. If all the practical sides continue as normal, it’ll be easier for your child to adjust to the new circumstances.
Keeping the Memory Alive
You shouldn’t try to scrub your partner’s memory from the lives of and your children. Keep them alive. You could continue the traditions you started when you were all together, for instance, and hang their photos on the wall. As well, don’t skirt around mentioning them – keep your partner involved, somehow, in the daily running of life just by mentioning their name, stories about them, and so on.
Filling in Roles
Your child may have had specific memories connected with your partner, such as going to the park, or playing a sport together. Here, you can help your child adjust by keeping those activities part of their life – only now, you’ll be the one leading the charge.
Talk to Them
Children are a ball of emotions like the rest of us, and it’s good to give them a platform to talk. They can’t get it anywhere else. From time to time, check in with your son or daughter, and let them know that they’re free to talk about whatever’s on their mind with you.