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Children Dealing With Life And Death

2475 words - 10 pages

Most children ponder the thought of what life would be like without their parents. They imagine how amazing and fun a life filled with jokes and no rules would be. Not even having to go to school if you did not want to. Except this is not how life works. When a parent dies and the reality sets in, it quickly shows us that life is not all fun and games. The death of a parent is a devastating reality for any young child to bare. This abrupt reality may have long lasting effects as each child has their own unique way of perceiving life’s events. In the blink of an eye ones world may be completely twisted around. This kind of tragedy has the ability to shape a child in both negative and positive ways. They are now faced with the task of working through grief, dealing with change and are forced to face an unknown future.
There are two ways a child may lose their parent. Death can be natural and instant or prolonged and drawn out by illness or other medical problems. Sadly cancer or other medical problems are very common ways for children to lose their parents. When a parent has cancer it can be very difficult for the child. After years of long hospital drives and countless hours in the waiting room, a child may grow confused, angry or upset when their parent is not getting better. In this situation it is important for the child to be aware of what is going on with their parent. It is imperative to give children information that is relative to their understanding such as: the treatments are not working like they use to, this may mean mom or dad is not going to get better. The child may notice that their parent is not as active anymore. Providing a strong support system may help the child cope with feelings of: false hope, heartbreak, anger, confusion, sadness and even abandonment. Comprehending the consequences of cancer is difficult even for adults to handle let alone a child.
Another type of death is one by tragedy that can be unexpected and can be more devastating than prolonged death in that it occurs suddenly and without notice. More often than not parents die unexpectedly and their children are left behind in a big scary world with no guidelines on how to survive. In part this is because parents do not expect to die while their child or children are still young. Planning ahead for the future can be difficult for parents emotionally as well as culturally and in some cases even financially. Initially when a parent dies it seems as if they have all the support in the world by people who love them. Most people seem to think that after a year or more children should be well adjusted, happy and have made it through their traumatic loss. A child’s perspective may seem different in fact they may feel more alone. A child named Abby had this to say about that topic “The pain got worse! Because the initial shock wears off, people stop coming to your house, and you are left….with yourself” (Simon, Johnson 49). What most people do not realize is that they...

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