The death of a mother is an unforgettable loss at any age. It is emotionally devastating when it happens to a young mother, leaving behind a child who may not grasp the concept of death. Children are resilient and with the support of family, friends and community, they can overcome grief and thrive. You can help the healing process, offer comfort and help keep the memory of his mother alive with thoughtful gifts.
A child of any age will go through immense grief after the loss of his mother. Time and counseling can help overcome all the normal emotions of loss -- denial, anger, depression, anxiety and sadness. You can help the child through this journey by arranging and paying for grief counseling. Choose individual counseling sessions or support groups that are tailored for grieving children. This gives the child a safe place to talk about the loss of his mother and how he feels. He can speak with a therapist one-on-one and meet other children who have experienced the loss of a parent. Offer to accompany the child with the permission of the father or a family member, if there are no other adults available to attend.
Terminally ill parents or family members often make memory boxes for a child. However, if a child's mother was unable to make one or passed away suddenly, a family member or close friend can make one. You can choose a simple cardboard box or one that is elaborate and decorative, depending on what you think the mother would have liked. Place items that represent her as a person and mother. These can include her favorite book or music CD, ticket stubs to movies or places she experienced with the child, old written notes or letters, photographs, and personal items such as watches, glasses and jewelry. Write a note to the child about why you chose the things in the memory box. All of these items are meant to keep the memory of the mother alive for the child. When you present a memory box to a very young child, be sure to store it in a safe place until the child is older and can fully appreciate the contents.
Books about grieving for kids can help children heal. Many of these books talk about other children who have experienced similar losses to show kids that they are not alone. Reading books about loss with the child can help comfort him. If you are aware of children's books the mother enjoyed or a particular author she liked, purchase these for the child with a note about why his mother liked them.
A single father who is grieving for the loss of his wife has a great deal to think about, including caring for his child, while keeping his family financially afloat. Purchasing government or private bank education bonds in the child's name can help ease the burden. These bonds typically mature when the child is ready to attend college or university.