Childhood bereavement

A project about Grief Awareness


  • The period of mourning and grief after the death of a parent or loved one. Victims may experience grief as a mental, physical, social or emotional reaction.

General Statistics

  • 1 in 5 Children will experience the death of a loved one by the age of 18​

  • 7,300 children die every year. 83% have surviving siblings​

  • 1 in 20 children will suffer the loss of one or both parents​

  • In Atlanta alone, 40,000 children are grieving the loss of a parent or sibling.

Childhood loss and what that ensues

  • Childhood Grief is tough to predict and is important to understand. Children develop into adolescents then adulthood based on their childhood. They don't always understand what is happening, but that doesn't mean certain events don't effect them.
  • Death isn't a concept that sets in until about six years old. Before that, the child is confused and scared once an adult disappears. This can have major physiological repercussions including a lack of trust, anger, or even socially developmental issues that stop the child from making friends
  • Even at the age of 8 until 18 the loss of a parent is detrimental. For instance a child may feel different because he was never coached by his father in baseball. A girl may feel that she missed out on experiences that other kids had with their moms, like having her hair brushed or a girls night out.

Career path: Child Grief Counselor

The main goal of a grief counselor is to help people cope with grief. These professionals might work with all types of people experiencing all different types of loss. Some grief counselors, though, might focus on counseling individuals that lost loved ones in specific ways, such as after a battle with cancer or during military service. This specialized type works with children and teens who have experiences a major loss in their life

Debra Brook

  • Program and Volunteer Manager for Kate's Club
  • 14 years of experience working with adolescents.
  • Also Camp Director

My Project: Grief Awareness Team

Every year, on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, National Grief awareness day in observed. Established in 2008, Grief Awareness day was created to bring light to the issue of Childhood Bereavement and the lack of awareness about the support needed to comfort victims. My project is composed of two parts: The small scale, local initiation of grief awareness, and the Broader picture.
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Part One: The Team

The Grief awareness team went through pages of material, but more than that we described our personal losses. Each person has felt some kind of pain in their life. One of my issues was that not everyone could meet at once. We would gather in small group here and there, but the important part is that people learned about grief.

Initial Survey

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I gave this Survey to each of the members of the group. The significance if how much their parents affected their life. It sounds obvious, but in reality One parent may be more effective at expressing a certain message or lesson. This allows us to imagine what kids who lose a parent may lose out on.
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The memory walk

We went to Atlanta for the annual memory walk. This happened on November 15. Hundreds of children along with their parents came to remember their loved one, and walk in their honor.

On my right, Kate Atwood, the founder of Kate's Club lead the walk with me. The course was one and a half miles through the residential area in Atlanta near Conan Park.

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Part Two: The Broader Picture

For the second part of my project, I focused on a larger scale of grief awareness. i was given some amazing opportunities to speak about the memory walk, and grief awareness. I appeared on Focus Atlanta, Atlanta and company, and 11alive.

The learning Stretch

  • Public Speaking
  • Learning the psychology of loss

Focus Atlanta

Kate's Club

Atlanta And Company

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