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Grief is a Color. Grief is a Feeling. Grief is Learning. What Do Children Really Know About Death and Grief?
"The Indwelling Spirit is this ability of humanity to keep going, to keep recovering from its wounds, to keep hoping. One thing we love so much about young children is their indomitable hope, curiosity, and desire to grow. They fall down, and soon they’re all grins again. Another generation is going to try again to live life to the fullest."
—Richard Rohr, 2016

Since Maria Nagy’s groundbreaking work in 1948, there has been great interest in how children understand and talk about death and grief. Countless studies have explored the ways in which children think about death—physically, spiritually and socially. But what about grief? What do children know about this all too human condition? How can we talk to children about this complex experience unless we know what they are thinking and feeling? Adults, parents and caregivers often question the “best” way to appropriately communicate to children about death and grief. This webinar will explore the multiple factors that influence how children understand grief and the emotions that surround it and how we can open communication in new ways.

Learning Goals:
Discuss the multiple factors that contribute to a child’s understanding of death and grief including:
1. Discuss how children define death, loss and grief,
2. Describe the development of children’s concepts and sub-concepts of death.
3. Review how cognitive and emotional development influence awareness of death and grief and grieving.

May 13, 2021 03:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Donna Gaffney, DNSc, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
Psychotherapist, Educator, Speaker, Writer
Donna Gaffney, psychotherapist and educator, has long addressed loss and grief in children’s lives. She’s developed discussion guides for YA books and for the NY Council for the Humanities’ 9/11 Community Conversation program. Donna designed "Growing Heroines”, an AAUW-funded bibliotherapy program, for NYC elementary school girls. After 9/11 Donna and author Joan Bauer co-led “Healing Through Writing” workshops for teens. She is the author of The Seasons of Grief, Helping Children Grow Through Loss and taught at Columbia University. Donna holds master’s degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University; Rutgers University, and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jesse Bassett
Director of Education @Good Grief