Our kids are grieving: How to help

With multiple losses in our kids’ lives over the last year, grief has arrived in our homes with bags packed to stay awhile.

Grief is most commonly associated with the mix of involuntary feelings that a person has around the death of a significant person in their lives, however, grief can be experienced anytime there is meaningful loss(es).

Children’s mental health helpers are seeing how multiple pandemic related losses are impacting our children in a variety of ways and are calling on caring adults to access tools and supports to help the kids cope. The encouraging piece is that children’s grief is better understood now than ever and there are great resources and guidance for parents supporting the grieving child. 

On Monday, May 10, Certified Child Life Specialist and Grief Counsellor Heather O’Brien talked about what children’s grief can look like, how to help kids get to know it, and how to help kids process the grief they are all experiencing. 

Here is a copy of her presentation, along with some resources she shared following that session:


Heather O’Brien is a Certified Child Life Specialist and Grief Counsellor who has been working in children’s mental health for over 20 years. Her community private practice focuses on supporting children, youth and adults in times of illness, disability, end-of-life, transition and grief.  With a passion for creating a space for exploration, understanding, release and support, Heather uses her ability to translate difficult concepts into language and metaphors that even young children can grasp. In addition to individual and family counselling, Heather also has a passion for group work and teaching adults how to support and companion the grieving child/youth.