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How do I help my grieving child?


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Old 11th November 2017, 7:58 AM   #1
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How do I help my grieving child?

My ex boyfriend and I have a five year old daughter together. He recently took his own life and she is absolutely distraught.

He had had some really hard times lately, and I guess just couldn’t take it anymore. He was the world’s greatest daddy. He went and got her from school every day, they played, they snuggled, they had “date night” every Friday...

He was here the night before he died and we all watched a movie together. He kept whispering to her, and when I asked what they were talking about, she’d giggle and say “nothing mommy.” But I wonder if he was saying goodbye to her.

Ever since he’s been gone, she just gets so sad. We can be out, and she’ll start just sobbing, eating, out playing, she wakes up in the middle of the night... and she just screams and cries she wants her daddy!

We took his old shirts and she wears them like night gowns. I don’t know if that’s actually been a good idea, but that’s what she wants. He used to do that with her when she spent the night. That’s why she wanted to do it. They do still smell like him and I smell them every day.

I have yet to find a doctor that’ll see her because of her age... there really aren’t any grief programs in our area for young children, and I came here looking for advice. I want to help her get better. Has anyone ever went through this and what can I do?
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Old 11th November 2017, 8:09 AM   #2
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Get in touch with a group called Walk Out of the Darkness. It's a suicide prevention group that offers support for the survivors.

Talk about her father. Let her say whatever she thinks / feels. Make sure to remind her that his adult choice was not her fault & he didn't make that choice because of her. Try to reassure her that she was one of the brightest spots in his life.

I'm sorry for your loss. Together or not, I'm sure his death had a profound impact on you too.
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Old 11th November 2017, 8:26 AM   #3
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I'm so sorry for your loss .

I would try to find some play therapy counselors near you. I would be very surprised if they didn't take a 5 year old since that's the whole purpose - helping children. My son was in play therapy when he was 5 or 6.
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Old 11th November 2017, 10:58 AM   #4
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Yeah, I’m pretty heartbroken too, but more so for her. I feel numb and in disbelief. I’m also mad at him for causing her that pain. She adore him more than I’ve ever seen a child love their daddy. She was his the day she was born.

We also were still intimate pretty often when we weren’t together... I just don’t understand this at all.

I’ll look into the play therapy as well. I had no idea it existed. Thank you.
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Old 11th November 2017, 5:06 PM   #5
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IN addition to the play therapist/child psychologist for her, look into a grief group for you. In grief groups, you're likely to find other parents who have been through this and may have suggestions to help your lil one.
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Old 11th November 2017, 9:12 PM   #6
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I’ve looked into groups for myself as a resource, but nothing has worked yet... I’ll try again though.

Today she was really struggling with missing him. Woke up at 5:30 in the morning just crying so hard, and all day crying for him. It breaks my heart. I wish that I would’ve known, because I would’ve done anything to help him.
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Old 12th November 2017, 12:25 AM   #7
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Today is the six year anniversary of my mother's death. I was much older than your daughter when she died. It was so hard - brutally hard to lose a parent. Your story breaks my heart.

I would look for a play therapist or an art therapist who could help her. Kids express themselves though art - perhaps drawing pictures, making a book of photographs, or something similar would help her to connect with her dad.

I'm sorry, I have no idea what to suggest. I just wanted to offer my best wishes to you and your daughter. Hold tight your little one. Just love her while she grieves.
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Old 12th November 2017, 2:18 PM   #8
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Unhappy

I thought maybe looking at some pictures of him would help her... I have never been so wrong. She’s just screaming at the top of her lungs for him. I wish he could see this. I wish he knew what he’s done to her. my poor baby.
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Old 12th November 2017, 6:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of Grief View Post
I thought maybe looking at some pictures of him would help her... I have never been so wrong. She’s just screaming at the top of her lungs for him. I wish he could see this. I wish he knew what he’s done to her. my poor baby.
I'm so sorry. This is heartbreaking. She is just too young to really understand.
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Old 12th November 2017, 7:39 PM   #10
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First thing tomorrow, you need to call her pediatrician's office and ask to speak to the pediatrician. Have her paged if you must. Her pediatrician is more than likely going to know some names of some child therapists who specialize in play therapy/art therapy. Kids this age can express themselves better through play or art.
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Old 13th November 2017, 10:20 AM   #11
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I'm really sorry for your and your daughters loss.

It's a really heartbreaking situation and I understand that you have feelings of anger towards him because of how it affected your little girl, but you have to understand that people who are depressed and suicidal actually feel like they're doing the world and people around them a favor by ending their life. In his mind, he wasn't hurting your daughter, but helping her. It's extremely heartbreaking that he didn't manage to get the help he needed.

Definitely look into art therapy, it has amazing results when it comes to trauma. And I also suggest that maybe you see a psychologist as well to help yourself manage and sort out your feelings on this.
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Old 14th November 2017, 5:39 PM   #12
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Have you called the pedatrician an this week?
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Old 14th November 2017, 5:49 PM   #13
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I cant say much more than what has already been said, but i am so sorry for your loss. That is such a shame for your daughter to have to go through that at such a young age. My heart bleeds for you & you will be in my prayers.
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