All About Estates

Good Grief

All About Estates’ readers consist largely of professionals working in the areas of estates, trusts, capacity, tax, and elder care specialists. We are lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, social workers, and other people who live in the world of ageing, death and dying. We meet our clients as they plan for ageing, death and dying – or deal with the fall out of those plans (and lack of plans). Grief is like the invisible client in our board rooms, meeting rooms and court rooms, hospital rooms, living rooms and in our own personal lives.  In our personal and professional lives, our ability to cope with grief and to observe and assist our clients in coping with grief is an invaluable skill set to develop.

This is the first of a couple of posts that I am working on in which I have gathered  some resources for coping with grief in our work. Today’s post focusses on resources for children and youth. According to the Canadian Alliance for Children’s Grief, over 203,000 of Canada’s 7.5 million children under age 18 will experience the death of someone in their extended family each year. 1 in 14 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling before age 18.

I know from personal experience that losing a close person close to you as a child is devastating, and the impact ripples outwards for decades. In recent years the understanding of children’s grief has deepened and there are incredible services available for children and youth who are navigating their way through loss.

The following is a short list of resources that I have encountered, that you may find useful, both personally and professionally, to support children in grief.

Bereaved Families of Ontario

BFO is a charitable organization with branches throughout Ontario, offering a variety of individual and group support programs. Individual chapters can be found on the home page, and each chapter has links to a wide range of resources and to their services and event.

Canadian Alliance for Children’s Grief

This national website offers links to programs throughout the country, in addition to a forum for child and youth bereavement professionals, research and educational resources. GCC also supports Children’s Grief Awareness Day, a day meant to raise awareness of the painful impact that the death of a loved one has in the life of a child.

The CACG site also links to bereavement camps through out the country. Bereavement camps offer children the opportunity for a mixture of ‘regular’ camp activities mixed with grief centered activities, learning coping skills, and participating in memorial activities.

Youthgrief is a group founded by grieving youth for grieving youth. Through it, young people coping with grief can access advice, artwork, stories of other youth experiencing loss, and links to support services such as the Kids Help phone line and other nationally available services. The site is heartbreaking and life affirming, much like grief itself.

I would be remiss if I did not mention a beautiful book written and illustrated by a Governor General award-winning artist, and old high school buddy of mine, Matt James. The Funeral is the sweet story of a girl traveling with her parents to the funeral of her great Uncle. Books like The Funeral offer a valuable tool to help children learn about and talk about the grieving process and I highly recommend this one to you.

Please feel free to add resources and titles to the comments.

Jane Martin, Estate and Trust Consultant Team Lead, Scotiatrust

About Scotiatrust

1 Comment

  1. Susannah Roth

    May 9, 2024 - 1:26 pm

    Gilda’s Club has fantastic support groups for all ages, including children. They focus on individuals who are living with cancer or have a close family member who has cancer or has died of cancer, and support groups for all of these individuals in all age groups.

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