How to help the children who are left behind.

When a parent dies, it’s always painful for a child. And a parent’s death by suicide—especially, research shows, a mother’s suicide—has an even more painful and potentially disturbing effect

As with all traumatic events, the way in which kids are supported in processing their feelings about the loss affects how successfully they will recover. Children are very resilient, and while a parent’s suicide will never stop being an important event in their lives, with help they can recover their emotional health and vitality.

When children experience the sudden death of a parent, they go through what we call traumatic grieving. This kind of death is not just a painful thing to assimilate; it triggers an emotionally complicated or conflicted process.

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