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I had a PhD, a body of research focused on childhood trauma and recovery, and a decade of clinical experience helping kids deal and heal, yet I was now at a total loss. It was as if I spent half of my life preparing for and helping others navigate terrain such as this, but when it was my turn, I froze. It is true that there are simply things in life you can never prepare for, no matter how hard you work.
I know now from my research and experience that there is consensus among experts and parents about a few basic tried and true tenets for helping kids cope with grief, loss and change. I've boiled them down for my own personal use with my children, for the next crisis, big or small, that will inevitably occur. It occurred to me that this is helpful for me, it might be helpful for you, too.