Helping a grieving child

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Helping a grieving child
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 1:31pm

My dad died Monday night, right before D started classes (first year). His death was expected, and we all went to Seattle to hang out with him and say goodbye at the end of July. Nonethless, it's hard for all of us, but especially for DD who is embarking on this new college adventure, trying new subjects, and trying to make new friends. The first year dean emailed her professors, and I emailed the coordinator for the RAs, and everyone has been very nice to her.

Still, she's kind of a wreck and wants to know when this awful feeling will pass. I don't know what to say. I did go down there (we're less than an hour away even if the traffic is bad) and take her off campus to buy art supplies for her drawing class, and that seemed to help a little. I know she can take a short leave, but neither she nor I think this is a good idea, as it will just make things worse when she has to catch up. (We have some experience with this from soph year in HS!)

Has anyone else been thru something similar?


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2014
Wed, 07-30-2014 - 1:53pm

The Top 5 Benefits When You Sponsor A Child And Why You Shouldn’t Put It Off

A lot of people think about giving to charity. They want to make a difference but often they can’t decide where to put their hard earned money and then they end up not making the commitment, especially when they begin to worry that the effect of their contribution is intangible.

When you sponsor a child though, the impact of your money is both far reaching and profound. These are the top 5 benefits that occur when you sponsor a child.

          You Help Lots Of Other People. The money you give when you sponsor a child doesn’t go directly to the child or their family. That kind of distribution can actually cause problems within communities as people can feel resentful as they aren’t receiving support. Instead your monthly donation goes into a fund for the country your child lives in. This money is then used to fund projects in their communities and across the country. Statistically, for every child sponsored a further 55 see the benefits.

                You are Empowering People.There’s a tendency to see charity as just giving hand outs to people in a crisis and some people even come to see it as trapping people in a cycle of dependency. That couldn’t be further from the truth when you sponsor a child. Your money does help provide disaster relief in the event of crises, but the majority goes on development projects that help communities and individuals take charge of their own future, giving them a sense of pride and fulfilment.

                 You are Helping Support Child Rights. One of the major problems around the world, particularly in the poorer countries, is a failure to acknowledge and support child rights. This means that children suffer a variety of abuses that inhibit their growth and development, whether that’s lack of education due to discrimination, child labour or practices such as female genital mutilation. When you sponsor a child your money helps fund initiatives to protect children and educate communities about child rights.

            You are Helping Create A Healthy Future. In the world’s poorest countries children go without adequate food, clean water and medical care. The result is high levels of infant mortality and illness. By choosing to sponsor a child you’re helping build water sources, hygiene facilities and medical centres as well as train staff and fund education projects.

            You are Ending Poverty. The cycle of poverty is hard to break because it’s a complex and multi-faceted issue. Just throwing money at it isn’t the cure because many problems that create poverty are due to attitudes and social structures that reinforce the cycle. How can a woman secure meaningful and well paid work if she’s denied education as a girl and certain careers are denied her based on her gender? To sponsor a child is to make a huge contribution to ending poverty because your money helps fund projects and initiatives that provide infrastructure, training and education, and also works to change attitudes and laws that keep people trapped in a life of poverty.

These are the incredible benefits that occur when you sponsor a child. Don’t think that your money can’t have an impact because it will, in ways that are bigger than you think. And the longer you put it off the more likely you’ll convince yourself not to sponsor a child.

To find out more about how you can make a difference and to sponsor a child click here to visit Plan UK today


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-04-2004
Sun, 12-15-2013 - 9:34pm

I'm so sorry for your loss, Ashmama.  Losing someone you love dearly is probably the most devastating blow ever. My beloved Mother died at the beginning of January 1999, shortly after her birthday and then my Dad died six years later beginning of August.  It was the awfulest feeling that I had ever experienced.  It'll soon be her 15 year anniversary and it's so difficult to believe how many years have gone by. During the first month of her death I never thought I'd get through it, but I did, and the blow has softened up a great deal. I still miss her, but that heartbreak and the sick gnawing feeling at the pit of my stomach, have been replaced with beautiful memories that I can smile at now, instead of crying.  Healing from a loss of someone you loved dearly takes a very, very long time.   You will find that with everyday that goes by, it will bring healing, but if you find that  the pain is too unbearable to stand, then you should join a grieving support group or go to a grieving therapist so that s/he can help you cope.  Surround yourself with family and people that love you. Also take care of yourself.  God bless and help you through this.  -Kathryne

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 11:27am

Another thought - I planted plants for each of my parents when they passed (things that will last and grow; a bush or tree or even just some kind of stone memorial vs. just cemetary visits) - maybe you can schedule something like that for when the kids are in next if you think it'd help. It definitely helps me; makes me smile when I see them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Sun, 09-08-2013 - 8:45pm

Thanks, all, for your kind words. I think she's doing better. She did talk to a counselor, and then wrote an essay about our family, which she said was very cathartic.

I do think grieving comes in waves and it will take time for all of us to process this loss.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2004
Sun, 09-08-2013 - 12:15pm

My Mom passed  away almost 13 years ago and my girls (8 and 11 at the time) still talk about missing her.  My youngest has said that at times of stress or scary things she can feel her presence and smell her smell.  They aren't sad about it anymore, but she isn't forgotten.  I hope in time your DD can smile when her grandfather comes to mind.  Maybe she could draw something in art class in memory of him?  My sympathies to your family.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Fri, 09-06-2013 - 9:58pm

I am so sorry about your loss.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 09-06-2013 - 2:10pm

I have no advice that hasn't already been given.  My condolences to you on the loss of your father.

I lost my mom six years ago, and it was three months before I had a good cry over it.  Up until that point, I had kept telling myself, "Not going to cry, have to be strong, old people die and I'm not going through anything everyone else doesn't go through, etc." 

As I get older, I look more and more and MORE like her, so I barely miss her anymore.  I just look in the mirror and there she is.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Fri, 09-06-2013 - 10:54am

I'm so sorry.   As everyone else has already said, even when it's expected, the death of someone you love is a very hard blow.   The intense sadness takes time to recede and it's got to be even harder for your dd who is also dealing with the unfamiliarity of a new life.

Has she thought about talking to a counselor or chaplain on campus?  That might be really helpful to her.

My sincere condolences on the loss of your dad.  As heartbreaking as it is to lose him, it's a testament to him that he was so loved by his grandchild.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 09-06-2013 - 9:14am

Hugs!  No real advice, just condolences to you and the family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 7:53pm

I have no advice to add.  I just wanted to say sorry for your loss.  Even when you expect someone to pass away, it's still hard.  My best friend's mother died last week & she was 91 but my friend was still very sad.  I also think it's hard when you're young & maybe the 1st death in the family? (I don't know if that's true for your DD.)  My favorite grandma died unexpectedly when I was in high school & it was the first death I had been exposed to so it was hard & a shock.  My DD is 24 and has lost 3 grandparents & an uncle.