This day provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the painful impact that the death of a loved one has in the life of a child, and an opportunity to make sure that these children receive the support they need. Held on the third Thursday of November, each year it grows larger and larger.
Although the topic of death and grief can certainly be poignant, observing and participating in Children’s Grief Awareness Day doesn’t have to be a somber occasion. No matter what you do, your actions will carry the meaning of support to kids who have had a loved one die. Every year thousands of people find creative ways to raise awareness of the impact of death on children and to let grieving children know they are not alone. Many of these ways revolve around two concepts:
The easiest way to participate in Children’s Grief Awareness Day is to wear blue on that day. In a way, kids who have experienced a death are wearing “blue” every day; they’re living the blues.
When we choose to wear blue in solidarity with them; when we acknowledge what they’re going through and elect to stand with them; when we choose to “put on the blues,” even if only on the outside, as a way of making a statement to the world that we won’t let their hurting go unnoticed — we help these kids see that they’re not alone in what they’re going through.
Blue is also the color of trust, honesty and loyalty, creating a sense of calmness and peace, and often reflecting and enhancing a person’s innate desire to help and befriend a person in need. Wearing blue, then, is also a statement of the willingness to lend a helping hand, to be there for the friend in need.
In addition to wearing blue, businesses or organizations can have a “blue out” in their offices or cubicles, and schools can encourage their entire student body to wear blue that day.
As the butterfly is the universal symbol of hope, of a new life growing out of the old, “HOPE the Butterfly” symbolizes the message of HOPE that we are sharing with grieving children on this day and throughout the year — the hope that it won’t always hurt so badly; and the hope that these kids can hold on to as we let them know that there are many of us out there “Holding on to HOPE” for them so that they know that they are not alone.
You can learn more about the Children’s Grief Awareness Day “Holding onto HOPE” campaign on our website or watch the inspiring video below of people across the globe “Holding on to Hope”:
There are also many other ways to be a part of Children’s Grief Awareness Day:
The “How to Participate” section of the Children’s Grief Awareness Day website has additional suggestions on how to join in observing the day.
Also consider publicizing your activity. By explaining the reason behind your activity — to show awareness of grieving children — you help to tell the entire community what Children’s Grief Awareness Day is about.
Children who have suffered the death of someone close have been wounded inside.
The damage is devastating, but it is internal. Unlike a classmate with a broken leg, the injury that comes with grieving is hidden from view. The kid who lost a loved one looks the same as they did a month ago (or a year ago, or however long it’s been since their person died).
This becomes a compound problem:
By raising awareness of the struggles that children and teens face following the death of a loved one, we can help these kids get the help and support that they need — but sometimes don’t get — because their pain isn’t always obvious or understood.
Let’s all find a way to bring BLUE and HOPE to Children’s Grief Awareness Day. Let’s do it for the kids — and let’s find ways all year round to let them know they are not alone and that we care.
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