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Abstract

The 2005 U.S. Bureau of Census states that more than 2 million children and adolescents under the age of 18 have experienced the death of a parent. One of the most stressful events for children and their families is the death of a parent or other loved one. The surviving parent may have difficulty coping with the loss of his or her partner, and this difficulty in coping may affect how the children work through the grieving process. If the children do not deal with grief effectively, they may have to deal with major psychiatric problems and social dysfunctions throughout their childhood and possibly their adult life. One of the major problems grieving children face is the lack of preparation for loss of others, because many children may not have a clear concept of death and dying. Susan Hamby, lead counselor at Hardaway High School of Columbus, Georgia stated, “The issue of death is hard for a child to relate to because they believe they are immortal; and when a death occurs, it’s a shock that they are not prepared to deal with” (personal communication, October 9, 2005).

Author's Biographies

Georgia Fielding and Jacob Crowder are both enrolled in the Masters of Education Program in School Counseling at Columbus State University.

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