AUTHOR: Christen Bell, Development Writer and Holly Oxendale, Executive Director
November is Children's Grief Awareness Month. Tides, a local grief support organization, is joining the National Alliance for Children’s Grief (NACG) to "flip the script" on grief. Throughout the month, we are collectively committed to providing essential tools and resources aimed at fostering a more grief-informed society. This initiative seeks to address the common challenges people face when supporting those who are grieving, aiming to replace potentially hurtful statements or silence with comforting and constructive responses.
For example: Instead of, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Flip the Script to “Thank you for telling me what happened. I know there are no words to make it better. Just know I’m here and want to support you.”
Children's Grief Awareness Month serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of acknowledging and supporting children who are grieving and their families. This is at the heart of Tides’ mission as we seek to support children, teens, and adults in Centre County who have experienced the death of a loved one.
According to the JAG Institute’s 2023 Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model Report, an alarming statistic underscores the urgency of this effort: 1 in 12 children, or approximately 6 million children, in the United States, will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the age of 18. The profound impact of this loss cannot be understated. In 2021 alone, nearly 1,200 children were bereaved every day, emphasizing the need for greater awareness and support for those navigating the complexities of childhood grief.
Tides Executive Director Holly Oxendale emphasized the significance of Children's Grief Awareness Month, stating, "How we talk about grief is so important. We are so grateful to partner with NACG in their initiative to flip the script and emphasize language that can bring comfort and support to grieving individuals.”
Throughout November, Tides will be sharing quick and easy statements that can be invaluable to someone grieving. These statements aim to provide comfort, empathy, and support to individuals dealing with the profound loss of a loved one. By fostering a more grief-informed society, we can collectively help alleviate the pain and isolation that children who are grieving often experience.
Visit Tidesprogram.org or follow Tides on social media to learn more about Tides and how you can support our local grieving community. For more information on Children's Grief Awareness Month and to access valuable resources for supporting children who are grieving, please visit https://nacg.org/flipthescript/ and search for #FlipTheScript on Facebook and Instagram.