Just like adults, children need to grieve. However, unlike adults, children don’t always know how to express or handle their feelings. Atlanta DUI victim attorney Shane Smith offers six more tips on how to help your child after losing a loved one to a Georgia drunk driving accident.
- Offer physical reassurance. Young children are comforted by cuddling, hugging and stroking.
- Give a consistent message. Talk to teachers, guidance counselors, caregivers, family and friends about what you are telling your child, so they don’t give conflicting messages.
- Allow your child to participate in the memorial service or funeral. Children need to say goodbye in their own way. Funerals allow closure for adults as well as for children. Allow your child to participate to the extent that she is comfortable, but don’t force her to do anything she doesn’t want to do. It may help your child to talk with the funeral director in order to know what to expect at the service. If one of your children doesn’t want to participate or has already missed the funeral, you can consider a memorial service just for children at a later date.
- Allow your child to share remembrances. Let your child talk about the loved one, even if it is painful for you. He may want to make a scrapbook of photos or keep a picture near his bed. Let him visit the cemetery and place flowers on the grave or write a goodbye letter.
- Remember the loved one at holidays. It is hard to celebrate the holidays after a Georgia drunk driving death, but children need to observe traditions. Try to include your loved one by hanging a special ornament on the tree or giving a donation to a cause he cared about.
- Get support for yourself. Realize that you are also grieving. Take care of your own physical and emotional needs. If you need help finding resources, contact The Law Offices of Shane Smith at 866-979-1629. Atlanta DUI victim attorney Shane Smith has dedicated his practice to helping Georgia DUI victims and their families. For more information, request a free copy of Shane Smith’s book, I Was Hit By A Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next?