Other Reactions

“Well, I think, I think loss is something that’s very hard to describe in words. It’s a mix of a lot of things. It’s a mix of anger. It’s a mix of thinking you’re guilty of something. It’s a mix of numbness.” (Student)

Other modules in this section address the learning challenges that children often experience after a death, as well as the guilt and shame commonly seen in grieving students. This module addresses some of the additional reactions that students may demonstrate. Learning how children understand and feel about a loss can guide school professionals to intervene in ways that help them cope. Children’s thoughts and feelings can often explain their behaviors both immediately after a death and after some time has passed. Actions that might be perceived as misbehaviors may be better understood in the context of a student’s reaction to a death.

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For more information on supporting grieving children, refer to The Grieving Student: A Guide for Schools by David Schonfeld and Marcia Quackenbush.