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School Counselor's Corner » Grief Resources

Grief Resources

Throughout the year Lakeland Village provides School-based Grief Groups provided by Elizabeth Hospice. Please email or call the counselor for more information.



Elizabeth Hospice Grief Group: Offered to K - 8th grade

Groups will run 1 day per week for 45-60 min during school and will last 8-10 weeks. Groups will cover many topics, but most importantly it will hold space for our students to talk about their special person, learn what grief is, coping skills and much more. 
Please note appropriate ages will be grouped together (we will not have elementary students paired with middle school, with the exception of 5th/6th combos). 

Group Intro Video:
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For your convenience, Elizabeth Hospice permission slip links have been pasted below. Participant Authorization Form as well as the Virtual Consent Form are required to participate.
Authorization Forms are now available through an e-doc and can be electronically signed. Please ensure that you fill out the forms completely and sign. Copies of all submitted forms will be sent to school contact.
Participant Authorization Form (Copy and paste into browser to access): 
Participant Authorization Form (Spanish): 

If you are interested in one or both groups and are having trouble accessing the attached forms or links, please reach out to the counselors via email at [email protected] . The group has online permission slips that can easily be completed and signed virtually and sent back. I am available via phone or email if assistance is needed. 

What's your grieflogo
Grief Support

10 Ways to Help a Grieving Child

  1. Take care of you -- Exercise, eat well-balanced meals, stick to regular routines and reach out to others for support. These activities might be difficult when you are grieving, but taking care of yourself is still important. Grieving children do better when they have a healthy adult providing support and understanding to them. bigstock 143831339

  2. Be honest with your child -- Discuss the tragic event with your child in a simple, direct and age appropriate manner. Be honest and share clear, accurate information about what happened. Children need to hear the truth from someone they love.

  3. Listen -- Listen to your child share his or her story about what happened. Let them ask you questions and answer their questions as best as you can. Do not be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”

  4. Acknowledge your child’s grief -- recognize that your child is grieving. Be careful not to impose your grief on your child, but allow him or her to grieve in his or her own way. It is normal for children to feel an array of emotions, including sadness, anger, frustration and fear. It is also normal for children to move in and out of grief reactions, at times being very upset or getting angry easily and at other times playing as if nothing has happened. If you are not sure how grief is impacting your child, spend time with them playing, coloring, drawing or sharing stories. Quite often children will give you clues to their grief through these activities.

  5. Share -- Tell your child stories about your own life. Times you were afraid, sad or angry. Tell them how you dealt with these situations and what you learned. Children love to hear stories about the adults in their lives and when those adults were children. Sharing stories helps a child normalize what he or she is experiencing.

  6. Be creative -- Give your child a creative outlet to express feelings. This can be done through drawing, writing, doing crafts, listening to music, or playing games.

  7. Maintain clear expectations -- Keep rules and boundaries consistent. Children gain security when they know what is expected from them. Children will often use their pain as an excuse for inappropriate behavior. While you should always acknowledge the grief your child is experiencing, you should also teach them to be accountable for their choices, no matter how they feel.

  8. Reassure your child -- Remind your child that he or she is loved and that you are there for him or her. Following the death of a person in his or her life, a child's sense of safety can be shaken. Children often fear that you or other people in their life might die. While you cannot promise that you or others will not die, you can let your child know the plan if such an event occurs.

  9. Create rituals and new family traditions -- Rituals can give your family tangible ways to acknowledge your grief and honor the memory of those who have died. Lighting candles, recognizing special occasions, sharing stories about those who have died or volunteering with a local charity as a family are some of the ways you can incorporate new traditions or rituals.

  10. Be patient -- You and your child are grieving and the most intense parts of grief often take longer than we might want. Grief also changes us in many ways. So, be patient as you and your child experience your grief. Be patient with your child with repetition. A child often has to come back to the same details and questions. Patiently spend time with your child as they (and you) grow, change and continue to construct their (your) life story.





NAGC Holiday Toolkit

Supporting Grieving Children During the Season of Family



The season that begins Thanksgiving and continues through the New Year could be called the “season of family.” During this time of year, regardless of which holidays you celebrate, what faith or culture you honor, there is an emphasis on family – a heightened awareness of the importance of family while we gather and  celebrate. The reverse is also true, there is a heightened awareness of those missing, those not at the table or at the special gathering. It is important we recognize and honor our traditions and celebrate family while honoring the loved shared and memories of family members that have died.


The “Season of Family” provides us an opportunity to celebrate and remember those loved ones who have been important to us. During the season, we have an opportunity to decide as family units to hold on to past traditions that have been important to us, to let go of the traditions that are no longer feasible, and to create new traditions that honor the past as well as move us forward as a family.


This holiday toolkit is provided with the hopes it will provide ideas and inspiration for families to celebrate loved ones, those present and those who have died. We hope together your family will create conversations and activities to honor the holiday season and your loved ones.


Please join NAGC as together we celebrate the “SEASON OF FAMILY.”


The Season of Family provides us an opportunity to celebrate

and remember those loved ones who Have been important to us



Thanksgiving Day, Fourth Thursday of November American Indian Heritage Day Nov 24

The Prophet’s Birthday Dec 1

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day – Dec 7 Chanukah/Hanukkah Dec 13 – Dec 20 Christmas Eve and Day Dec 24 & 25 Kwanzaa Dec 26 – Jan 1

New Year’s Day Jan 1


Thanksgiving is a time to show our gratitude and count blessings. The New Year is a time to take steps for move forward.

Those holidays in between (Christmas – Hanukkah - Kwanzaa - other special holidays) are opportunities to celebrate faith and culture.



Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks for our blessings. As your family gathers around the table, it is a great time to discuss the blessings each of you individually and collectively have received from your loved one that died. Family members could be encouraged to write the blessings and place them in a special box, bowl or other container. Blessings could then be read and shared at future dates of significance.



The New Year brings opportunities to look ahead, anticipate new adventures, and plan our futures. During this time, it is wonderful to discuss how your loved one has prepared your family for the fu- ture.

Looking back, what are you taking forward from your time with your loved one? What lessons did you learn from them?

What did they teach you?

What do you want to remember and hold on to? How will their legacy affect your future?

What do you want future generations to know about your loved one?


Share a Silly Holiday Memory

Share a silly memory of your loved one during the holiday season.


Discuss Traditions

Are there any traditions that you want to change this holiday season?


Gift giving

If gift giving is a part of your holiday celebration, before the gifts are exchanged, have each family talk about a special gift the loved one has given to them. It could be a tangible gift or perhaps even more meaningful would be an intangible gift.



Ask family members for ways they would like to incorporate the loved one that has died into the “season of family.” This could mean including a portrait or belonging to be a part of the decorations, positioning an empty chair at the table, setting out their favorite coffee mug, or an array of other meaningful items. Look for ways to honor and remember your loved one as you go through the holi- day season.


Memory Candles

Purchase cylinder candles. Use a variety of materials such as self-adhesive foamy shapes, letters, jewels to decorate candle. Written words /phrases and scrapbooking supplies can be attached with Modge-Podge. Especially meaningful could be including photos or pictures of loved ones and family that can be attached with Modge-Podge.

The family can choose a way to incorporate a family ritual when lighting this candle to remember your loved one.


Collage book

Staple blank pages to make a booklet. Have each family member make their own blank booklet. Create a book with the following:


Page 1 - What the last holiday spent with the person who died looked like Page 2 – What I imagine this holiday to look like

Page 3 - Gifts my special person gave me (talents traits, interests) Page 4 – Future

Find a special time to share your booklets as a family.


All About                               

Place a notebook, journal, scrapbook in a place that is accessible to all family members through the season. Invite family members to write, draw, paste, thoughts and memories about your loved one. Choose a special time to share the book with each other.


Remember when . . .

Place a multitude of photos of your deceased loved one in a basket. Gather family members and take turns sharing photos and telling stories about your loved one.

Table Talk

Often when families gather for holidays, food and meal time are at the center of the gathering. It may be the time when it is most obvious that loved ones are missing. It also may provide the perfect set- ting for wonderful conversations. Clip out the following questions and use as conversation starters.



What is your favorite memory of                          ?


What is a funny memory of                                    ?


What was their favorite holiday food?


What special touch did they add to the holiday?


What could they do better than anyone else?


If you could say something now to them, what would you say?


If they were here, what would be different?


What do you wish they knew about you today?


What will you always remember about them?


Who in the family has a similar personality to them?


What was the best time you ever had with them?

What was their favorite holiday or holiday tradition?


What special travel, trips, or vacation do you remember about them?


What special story can you share about them?

Great time to discuss favorite foods, dishes and heirlooms that have been passed down through the family


What is your favorite part of the holiday season?


What do you like least about the holiday season?


What are you looking forward to this holiday season?


Is there anything you dread or fear about the holidays?

What will be the most difficult thing you will have to do during the holidays without your loved one?


What can you do to feel close to your loved one this holiday season?


Discuss a holiday tradition that you want your family to continue.


Share a special holiday memory.



Give Yourself and Your Family Permission to Celebrate

Suppress the urge to ignore the holidays because they seem too painful to endure. It’s important that children are given the opportunity to celebrate the holidays without feeling bad or feeling guilty. After all, they still have a need to “just be a kid,” especially during the holidays.


Acknowledge Feelings as Natural

It is natural for children to experience a wide range of emotions when grieving the death of someone significant. Acknowledge these feelings and assure your child that having these feelings are natural.


Emotional Expression

Accept expressions of emotion. Children may express sadness, pain, frustration, anger or other powerful emotions. Avoid minimizing their feelings or trying to put a “positive” spin on their expressions. For example, saying, “It’s important to focus on the good times you had with your dad,” is likely to communicate that you don’t want to hear a child talk about painful things.



Plan ahead. Create new traditions, or choose to embrace the old as a way to stay connected. Involve children in creating new traditions. Come together and decide what traditions still work for your family, what traditions it’s time to let go of, and what new traditions you can create together.



Include the memory of your loved one in your celebration. Encourage your children to make something meaningful, such as a holiday card or special gift, specifically for your loved one. Decide as a family where these items should be placed during the holidays. Your children might want to place them under the tree, on the fireplace mantle, or in their room. Some children might want to take