We’ve partnered with the amazing team at Grief Encounter to make two new films to help kids who have experienced the death of a loved one. The films are also really good to use at school or home to help all kids better understand death so that they can be aware and supportive when someone they know is grieving.
- Sadly, in the US, 1 in 13 kids – that’s 5.6 million – will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the time they’re 18. In the UK, where Cosmic Kids is based, one child in every classroom will experience the death of someone close by the time they’re 16. That means pretty much all kids will know someone who is grieving during their time at school.
- Grief can cause a child such great stress while they’re growing up that it can unsettle their development, and have an impact on their longer term life chances.
So much of what we do at Cosmic Kids is about helping kids engage with life’s big challenges and providing them with tools they can use to cope and build up their resilience. That’s how we’ve approached these films…
In Teddy and Tabs, we meet two cats who’ve been best friends since they were kittens. When Tabs gets ill and then dies, Teddy experiences a whole range of emotions. We learn there’s no right or wrong way to feel when someone we love dies, the importance of being kind to yourself, and that the love that connects us to someone who has died will always be in our hearts. Because this is a Yoga Adventure, these messages are powerfully reinforced by movement.
In How to Help Kids Deal with Bereavement, Jaime explains how hard it can be when someone dies and how our feelings can get all jumbled up. We also make a memory box as a way to hold on to some of our most precious memories about the person who has died.
Whenever we take on a difficult issue like death, we try to partner with an expert to make sure we fully understand what a kid is going through and what are the most effective and appropriate ways for Cosmic Kids to be helpful.
We worked with Grief Encounter throughout the process of making these films – they shared their philosophy and approach to working with kids who are grieving, Jaime fed that expertise into her creative process, we tested scripts and early edits with the Grief Encounter counsellors, and the result is two films we’re really proud of and that we hope can help kids in this profoundly difficult moment in their lives.
If a child you know in the UK has been affected by bereavement and would like to speak to someone, Grief Encounter’s national, free and confidential helpline, grieftalk, is open 9am-9pm every weekday on 0808 802 0111 for advice, guidance and grief support. The Grief Encounter website also provides a wealth of resources, plus ways to access in-person support including counselling and workshops. You can also find ways in which you can support their amazing work.
If you’re in USA, the National Alliance for Children’s Grief provides help to anyone caring for a bereaved child through online toolkits and guides, and a directory of local in-person support organisations.