Building Bridges


Dealing with Loss
PART I (continued)

A letter to parents about this website guide

This website guide contains practical suggestions for helping your children deal with the losses your family will experience during and after your divorce. 

While it is important to acknowledge that these losses are very real ones, it is essential to reaffirm that children who experience the disruption of divorce can go on to lead happy, well-adjusted lives. You can help your children deal with the loss of ongoing contact with two parents; of existing routines; of long-familiar ways of being loved, being shown how to do things, having limits set; of school, friends, and neighborhood; and of the feelings of safety and security that come from a sense of family stability and permanence. 

Grieving a loss is a normal and healthy process, not a sign of illness. If you are like most people, however, events in your own life may have prevented you from developing effective ways of dealing with loss, ways that allow you to honor the past, live fully in the present, and look ahead to a satisfying future. 

Please remember the following as you face the challenge of helping your children deal with their losses during this phase of the family's life:

Children and adults have the capacity and the inclination to do the grief work that makes it possible to grow in wisdom and create the next chapter of their lives. You are in the best position to help your children. You know them. You care about them. You love them. You can trust yourself to help them learn what they need to learn, to help them deal with painful losses, and to help them grow stronger, wiser, and healthier, and more loving. In the process, you may become better able to do your own grief work, so that all of the members of your family will become better able to live their lives fully, now and in the future. 

You have what you need, and you have the ability to get whatever help you decide is important. Be gentle with yourself.

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