Grief Coach Susan Epstein, LCSW

Grief Coach


Advice on Helping Children Grieve the Loss of a Family Member:  Step I

Susan P. Epstein, LCSW, Parent Coach


Coping with a death in the family is one of the most difficult challenges that you and your children will ever undertake.  A parent coach and grief coach can help you take care of yourself while simultaneously providing support and caring for your children following a death in the family.

When my dad was 11 years old his father died of a heart attack.  The next day, the funeral was held and my grandmother moved her family out of the house they were living in to live with her brother and sister-in-law.  New town, new school, new family, no dad for my dad.  And according to my dad, they never spoke about it.

When I was 12 years old, my maternal grandfather died.  I attended the funeral with my parents and my brother, along with my cousins, aunt and uncle.  I remember standing outside at the cemetery and watching his coffin being lowed into the ground.  I told myself a story at that moment.  It went like this.  “He is not really dead.  He lived in a residence with other old people and they made a mistake and this is someone else that is in that box.”  I could not fathom death.  I did not understand howFree Coaching Consultation one can be here one day and permanently gone the next.  I don’t remember at what age I got it, but it but it certainly was not right away.  I didn’t talk to anyone about what I was thinking.  In fact, I don’t think that we talked about my grandfather much at all after that.

Just a few months ago, my mother told me that when she was a little girl, her paternal grandmother died in a fire in the store that they ran.  My grandfather ran back in to save her but to no avail.  My mother was outside and witnessed this tragedy at the age of 5.  I had never heard this story before.

I have asked my parents why we didn’t talk about these things growing up.  They both stated that they did not want to upset us, we would not have understood, we were too young, it was unpleasant… My grandparents and my parents did the best that they could.  They truly believed that they were protecting their children.  This was in no way wrong or emotionally abusive.  It just was not emotionally helpful to them or me.

Before you begin explaining death to your children, it may be very helpful to look back at your own childhood experiences with death.

• Did anyone talk to you about death?
• What did they tell you about death?
• Did you have stories about death that you never spoke about?
• Do you remember what you were told about what happens when someone dies?

When talking about death and grieving to your children, do so in an honest, truthful, warm, caring and sensitive manner.  When speaking to your children, you must keep in mind the developmental stage of each child.  Talking to children about death can feel overwhelming and confusing.  A parent coach can help sort this out and help a family begin the healing process in an emotionally healthy way.

Look for Part II- Pay Attention to Your Children’s Developmental Stages while talking to them about Death.

Contact Susan for a free coaching session.

Susan P, Epstein, LCSW, parent and family coach, works with parents and families looking for satisfaction, balance and growth.  Susan is an expert in the areas of family dynamics, parenting and child development and her unique blend of therapy and coaching combine to make her a powerful catalyst for change.

She practiced psychotherapy for 23 years before becoming a coach, writer and speaker.  Susan graduated from University of California at Berkeley School of Social Welfare.  She is a licensed clinical social worker in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Susan also completed training with the Coaches Training Institute, an internationally accredited coach training organization.  Learn more about Susan.


Articles and Specialties of Susan Epstein, Family Coach:

Life Coach

Family Coach: Six Tips to Less Stress at Home

Grief Coach: Advice on Helping Children Grieve the Loss of a Family Member: Step I

The Making of a Teen Life Coach

Teen Life Coach Riffs on the College Homesick Blues

Teen Life Coaching Workshop

Teen Life Coaching:  Drugs and Alcohol

Parent Coaching Testimonial

Teen Life Coaching FAQs

Family Coach: Six Tips for Enjoying Your Kids While Working From Home

Adolescent Coaching: Through the Generation Gap

Parent Coach

Parent Coaching

Parenting Coaching in the Fast Lane (workshop)

Parent Coaching Workshops

Parenting Coach:  Attention Parents!  No More Yelling!

Parenting Coach:  Attention Parents!  No More Yelling! (part 2)

Family Coach

Couples Coaching:  Rediscover the Joy


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