Losing a family member to a Kentucky drunk driving accident is a tragedy for the whole family. Adults and children will need to grieve. But, unlike adults, children may not be able to be able to express their feelings. Here are ten tips to help your child cope after losing a loved one to a Kentucky DUI crash.
- Don’t hurry the grieving process. Even adults need time to accept a Kentucky DUI death. Remember to give yourself and your child time to grieve.
- Encourage your child to express her feelings. Some children will want to talk about their thoughts. Others will be more comfortable drawing or writing. If your child doesn’t seem comfortable sharing her feelings, tell her how you feel. This will let your child know that it’s okay to have similar feelings.
- Spend time with your child. Young children may find it easier to express their feelings through imaginative play. Older children are more likely to talk when they are busy with another activity.
- Allow your child to feel angry. Anger is a normal part of the grieving process for both adults and children. Your child may be angry at the driver that caused the accident or at the loved one who died. Help your child find safe and appropriate ways to express her anger. Physical activity such as shooting basketballs or running laps can help.
- Take your child’s fears seriously. A drunk driving accident is sudden and unexpected. In an instant, your child’s life changed. He may begin to worry that other loved ones will also die. Take all fears seriously, even they seem irrational. Answer your child’s questions using simple, direct terms. Since children are literal thinkers, you should avoid using confusing terms like “sleeping” or “gone” to describe the death.
- Assure your child that the DUI death is not his fault. Your child may feel that he did something to cause the death. Explain that even adults make good and bad choices. Someone made the bad choice to drink and drive. The death occurred because of that bad choice.
- Remind your child that her loved one did not choose to die. Again, a grown up made a bad decision and caused the death.
- Share good memories. Let your child know that it’s ok talk about the loved one, even if it is hard for you. If it helps, let him have a picture to keep near his bed.
- Allow your child to come to the funeral or memorial service. Funerals allow closure for both children as well as adults. It can help to talk to the funeral director in advance, so you and your child know what to expect and how your child can participate. Don’t force your child to do anything she doesn’t want to do. If your child isn’t comfortable with the funeral, she can create her own memorial by placing flowers on the grave or writing a goodbye letter.
- Get support for yourself. You want to help your child, but you are grieving too. Make sure that you allow yourself time to take care of your own physical and emotional needs.
Our Louisville car accident lawyers can’t bring your loved one back, but we can help you find justice and accountability. To discuss your loss with a Kentucky wrongful death attorney, contact Gray and White Law at 888-450-4456.