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Too young to remember


blendermadness

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blendermadness

I am not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I haven't been able to find any information elsewhere that has been helpful.

I am the stepmom to a seven year old boy whose mother died when he was two.   He has no real memories of her, though he's been told lots of stories about her and seen photos of her.  Up until the past couple of months, he seemed rather indifferent to any discussion of her, but lately he's been telling us that he misses mommy and insisting on sleeping with her picture and creating scenarios between them that never happened.  I think it's because he has no actual memories of her, so he's trying to forge a tangible bond for himself...it's almost like he's having an identity crisis.

Unfortunately, there is no information out there for the best way to help a kid who is trying to deal with belated grief for a parent they can't really remember.   All I find is stuff telling us how toddlers respond immediately after the death, not the long term issues.  It is very frustrating; we want to do what is best for him

 Currently, we are listening to him when he wants to talk about her and encouraging him to write or draw pictures in his journal or look through our photo albums of her, but it doesn't seem to interest him.   The only thing he'll do is tell us he misses his mommy and then go lay up in his room, gaze at her photo and weep.  At first this only happened when he was angry at us for one thing or the other, but now it's an everyday thing.

Could he be depressed?

Is this a natural phase of grief for a child who has lost a parent as a toddler?

What kinds of things could we or he do to help him work through this?

Is there a book that he or we might read that would help us?

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[user=23989]blendermadness[/user] - This little boy has no memory of his mum and up until now it really hasn't been an issue.  But at 7 I guess he has entered into social interaction phase of his life with school etc.  This might be something that has opened up a whole world of wondering a realisation he is having a hard time understanding.

Grief counselling, even years on can be valuable.  I think what you are doing is something he needs right now.  As for depression, that might be harder to tell.  It seems he is looking for someway to connect with his mum without knowing how.

My suggestion would be so seek advice from a Paediatrician who may refer you to a specialist/counsellor. 

I wish you well with this journey.  Grief has no timeframe.  Adults struggle at times to understand or express grief, can't begin to imagine how a child can express themselves even years later.

Trudi

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