A mom writes in asking for advice about grief and grieving. She says her two-year-old son is grieving the loss of his beloved great-grandma. Since her death at the beginning of the year, he has stopped talking. He takes a picture of himself with his great-grandma with him everywhere and won’t let anyone touch it. He has also been sleeping with the blanket that belonged to his great-grandma when she was in the nursing home. The doctor told this mom her son may just need a grieving period, but how do you help a toddler process such powerful emotions?
A member of the community asks:
“How can I help my child grieve over the loss of his great-grandma?”
“My two year old lost his great-grandma first of this year. He was one then and starting to talk. We saw her 3/4 times a month since he was a week old. Now he doesn’t talk or say the words he did before. There’s a lot of pointing and grunting, no words. He has a picture of them together and won’t let anyone touch it, takes it to bed sometimes or naps or puts their picture on the floor and plays their picture.
Lately, he has been sleeping with the blanket grandma had in the nursing home. I talked to his Dr when he turned two and was told he needs a grieving period. I did take him to see her headstone and take her flowers, he took their picture and was showing her the flowers and the toy he brought. Is there more I need to do to help him? Breaks my heart seeing him hurting so much.”
Community Advice for This Mom Whose Child Is Grieving the Loss of His Great-Grandma
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“My son lost his father when he was almost 3 years old. We have always kept him in holidays, celebrate his birthday, talk about him whenever he wants, sometimes he cries and says how much he wishes he still hax his daddy. He will be 9 this year. He went through some phases for sure. Not long after it happened he had a lot of fits, screaming, crying, throwing toys… now he’s the sweetest boy I’ve ever met. I think time does heal some of the pain then some of it never heals. I had a blanket made for him that is covered in pictures of him and his dad and he has slept with it every single night.”
“My son’s grandpa passed almost 2 years ago. He is having a really hard time with this. We had to get him a therapist to talk to. He would say things like I wish I could die so I could see grandpa again. He is 8. It is very hard when someone they are close to passes. Just keep doing what you are doing. It takes time it sounds like you are doing everything right momma hang in there.”
“My son was about 4 when my Grammy passed away and my daughter was 8 months. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do was explain to my son why Grammy wasn’t there anymore when we had Sunday dinners. I made sure we still talked about her a lot, I told him that she was our angel in heaven now. I keep lots of pictures of her in the house and we visit her headstone as well. On her angel day every year, we release (biodegradable) balloons (from amazon) and their faces light up when we do this…
… My son was old enough to realize I was grieving and would hug me whenever he saw me cry. He would say “ you miss Didi?” So he understood. I glad that we continue to talk about her. My daughter who doesn’t remember her knows her from her pictures. It does take time for little ones to get used to the fact that they are not there, but I reassure them that even though we can’t see them anymore, they are always in our hearts. Hope this helps and I’m sorry for your loss.”
“My girls lost their Grandpa when they were only 3 and 4. My son was yet to be born, but he knows who Grandpa is. They were allowed to say goodbye that was the biggest thing. We sat them down and explained death and we have a beautiful painting of my dad fishing, we told them that’s where he is fishing in heaven. We also had them go through grief counseling. They speak of my dad freely and often. We just added a memorial stone in our garden for him as well. Hopefully, that helps… Sorry for your loss.”
“I’ve been explaining death to my oldest daughter since she was 2. Ever since our dog ate our fish lol. I tell her the truth. I tell her what I believe. Everyone and everything has a time when it dies and their soul goes to heaven, but their body stays. Its the circle of life, but circles never end and we will see them again.”
“Sorry for your loss. Sounds like you and he are doing all the right things to help him get over his loss. We all grieve in our own ways and for different lengths of time. Explain to him best that you can for his age that death is a natural part of the circle of life and that we believe we will all see our loved ones again some day.”
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