When Children Grieve

An open letter to a child

My Dear Young Friend,

I am so very sorry someone you loved has died.  This is a really hard time for you and your family.  Adults call the time after someone dies, grief.  I think we can also call it “living with a broken heart.”

I was thinking about what happens when a favorite toy or book gets broken.  You might try to fix it yourself, or take it to your mom or dad and ask them to help you fix it.  They will need to collect some fix-it supplies like glue, needle and thread, maybe even a hammer and nail, and a pair of scissors.  When they are working on it, you get to be patient and trust that mom or dad can put it back together so you can enjoy it again.

In a way, God is like a parent.  He is fixing your broken heart.  He is the only one who knows how.  He uses different things to help our broken hearts feel better while he is in the process of fixing them.  He might give us someone special to talk to about our pain.  He might show us Bible verses that help us trust Him and understand our broken hearts.  He might send us family and friends who understand and are okay when we are feeling really sad (we don’t need to hide our sadness from them).  Another way he helps heal our broken hearts is to remind us that we need to take really good care of our bodies by eating healthy food and getting plenty of exercise and good rest.  God has a lot of tools he uses to heal our broken hearts, but the most important one is His LOVE.  No matter what happens to us while we live on this planet, He is always loving us.  He feels our pain.  He understands our fears.  He even welcomes the times we feel angry.  And through it all, He is still loving us.

After my little boy died, the only thing I was sure of was this: Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.  I trusted His love to begin to heal my broken heart, and he has done so.  I pray that you will look into the wonderful face of Jesus and trust Him to heal your broken heart too.

If you want to write back, I’d be happy to write you back again.  If it feels too hard to write to someone you don’t know very well, I’ll just post a note from time to time to let you know I care.

My special Heart of love to you, Karen

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