Summer can be a season of mixed emotions for many families who are grieving.
The end of school may be a relief for some children and teens, especially if they struggled with having enough energy and concentration for class and homework. While others may miss the structure and social time that school provides.
Families may also wrestle with whether to continue summer traditions they shared with the person who died.
If you are the parent or caregiver for children or teens who are grieving, set aside time to talk about memories and traditions. Everyone might have different needs, which can require some negotiating and group problem-solving to come up with ways to meet them.
Reassure yourself and others that there is no right way to do summer and that it’s okay to figure it out together.
Looking for summer activities to help honor and remember your person who died? Dougy Center is posting activity ideas for people of any age on our social media pages throughout the summer. Here are two ideas you might find helpful:
Bubble Messages: Bubbles are a great way to share memories and messages in a group or on your own, while being outside. As a group, invite people to say a memory or a message to the person who died out loud or to themselves while they blow a bubble. This is also a good option for children to do on their own whenever they want to say something to the person who died.
Sidewalk Chalk Memories: Draw pictures or messages that remind you of your person. For those who struggle with painful images or regrets, they can write or draw those and then use a hose or a bucket of water to wash them away. Acknowledging and then intentionally erasing those images and regrets may help lessen their intensity.
Fore more tips and information about summertime and grief, download this Tip Sheet.