While the jarring news of actor Heath Ledger's death shook the world, it left two-year-old daughter, Matilda Rose with one live parent.
Many children experience the loss of a parent so keeping the memory of mom or dad alive is important for the entire family.
Licensed psychotherapist, Sally Sacks, M.Ed says there are nine specific ways you can help your lil one cope. To see her list,
- Don't think that you need to go to a cemetery to express yourself to loved ones. If you teach spiritual development you are aware that the person doesn't live in the cemetery. They live in your heart and mind which are with you everywhere. You want to keep that memory alive by carrying out behaviors of the person.
- Create a tangible reminder that you can see everyday. Keep their favorite item in your closet, or favorite picture in your room. Dedicate a sculpture or statue or flower arrangement in your house to them. Plant a tree in your yard for them, or a flower.
- Take a balloon and attach letters to them and let it fly free to the universe.
- Write to them in a special journal only for them and your private communication to them.
- Wear something that they liked to school.
- Order their favorite meal, or make their favorite cake on their birthday. You can even take a piece of cake and bottle of wine to the cemetery or their favorite place on their birthday. If you feel sad, let yourself be sad.
- Always talk to children about their deceased loved one, reminding them of how they are like that parent or have such good qualities like them. If they are sad, disconnected or don't answer, that's ok; keep doing it.
- Get help with yourself for the loss, and dealing with it if you are having trouble helping your children. If you don't get help for yourself you will not be able to help your children with the things that they need to do to keep their loved one's spirit alive.
- Teach children to live consciously, day by day in the moment. Life is short and we don't want to miss connecting to anyone that we love, dead or alive.