Resources for Grieving Families during COVID-19
Dear Highmark Caring Place Families,
Change has become the norm this past year, and there are more changes on the horizon as we ease our way into post-pandemic life.
At the Caring Place, we are carefully considering what it will look like to transition back into in-person programming after more than a year of working virtually. While recently it seems that many other things are changing and places are opening up quickly, we will need a little more time to put processes in place to ensure that we have done all we can to ensure the safety of all children, families and volunteers when they are in our buildings.
At this time, we are working on our Fall and Winter group schedules and determining the space available to accommodate families wishing to continue attending our program.
We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we work to support all interested families. In the meantime, our Caring Place Virtual program will continue.
We will keep the information up to date as things progress. We are so looking forward to being able to offer in-person groups again in the near future.
Caring Place staff members are available by phone during normal business hours at all four of our sites should you have concerns for yourself or your children that you would like to discuss. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Director, Highmark Caring Place
Highmark Caring Place Virtual
Caring Place Virtual brings the support group experience online. Learn more about Highmark Caring Place Virtual!
- The Highmark Caring Place: Finding New Ways to Care during COVID-19, an interview with Terese Vorsheck
- Responding to Change and Loss, National Alliance for Grieving Children
- Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association
- Keeping Your Distance to Stay Safe (The emotional impact of Social Distancing and how to cope), American Psychological Association
- Talking to Children About COVID-19: A Parent Resource, National Association of School Psychologists
- Creative Activities to Do With Kids At Home, Art With Heart
- Social versus physical distancing, Actively Moving Forward
- Strategies for Managing Anxiety and Fear in You and Your Children
- Resources to help Families during COVID-19
- Coronavirus and the Six Needs of Mourning
- How to Talk to Children About the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Helping Kids Grieve
- Seeing Other People Wearing Masks: A Story for Children
- The Golden Sweater
- National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health: Covid-19 Resources
Caring For Your Grieving Child: Frequently Asked Questions
Below are articles written by Caring Place staff members addressing the questions most often heard from caregivers about their grieving children. Some of the articles are directly related to COVID-19, and some of them address more general concerns of adults caring for children who are grieving.
- Supporting Grieving Students in this Time of COVID-19
- My Child Is Worried
- Grief Is a Long Journey
- Losses of Many Kinds
- More Losses of Many Kinds
- Why Don't My Kids Look Like They're Grieving
- How Do We Celebrate Holidays Now? (Spring Edition)
- How Do We Celebrate Holidays Now? (Winter Edition)
- Feeling Off Balance
- Sometimes Nights Are the Hardest
- Play Is the Work of Children
- What Does My Baby Know about Grief?
- "Onward": Wishes, Bonds and Memories after the Death of a Parent
- "Coco": A Story of Traditions and Legacy
- "Coco": A Story of Identity and Family
- "WandaVision": What Is Grief If Not Love Persevering?
Hope Through Children's Books: Videos and Activities
During this time when we can't gather together, the Caring Place staff have put together a series of videos for you and your children to watch together. In each video, a Caring Place staff member reads a book to your child and you. During the video, you will be guided to pause and talk with your child about their response to something being talked about in the book (e.g. "What makes you feel worried?"). Each video has an activity related to the book that you and your child can do together, or they can do on their own.
- "How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids" by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer
- "In My Heart: A Book of Feelings" by Jo Witek
- "Chocolate Chipped: A Smelly Book about Grief" by Shelley Gilbert & Vicky Baruch
- "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst
- "Star Wars: Search Your Feelings (Galactic Basic Edition)" by Calliope Glass & Caitlin Kennedy
- "My Heart Sings a Sad Song" by Gary Alan Shockley
Hope from Home Caring Place Activities
Activities at the Caring Place are ways in which children and families can express their feelings, preserve memories and develop coping skills. Although we can't get together at the Caring Place right now, we invite you to join us as we lead you in some activities that you and your family can do from home. These are fun ways for families to connect and have some meaningful conversations while having a good time together. In these videos, see Caring Place staff members demonstrate how to do some of these simple activities from your own home.
Holding On To HOPE #hope4COVID19
The butterfly is a worldwide symbol of HOPE. Here is an opportunity for all of us to come together and Hold On To HOPE during these difficult days. Print one of our full color Holding On To HOPE signs or the Holding On To HOPE coloring sheet. Then take a picture or video with one of the signs and SHARE it on your social media using the hashtag #hope4COVID19. In your message, let everyone know who you are Holding On To HOPE for (e.g. the doctors, the nurses, my family). Learn more about and participate in Holding On To HOPE.
Don't have a printer? No problem! Any butterfly will do. Get creative, draw your own butterfly and be sure to use the hashtag #hope4COVID19. Remember, even in the darkness, finding HOPE is always possible.
Funerals During a Pandemic: Honoring Loved Ones in This Difficult Time
We know that traditional funerals meet many emotional and social needs when a loved one has died. But with restrictions on gatherings, funerals as we've known them are hard to hold at this time. We've put together resources written by Caring Place staff to help families find alternative ways to say goodbye even while social distancing, along with additional resources from other experts that you and your family might find helpful.