Recognizing children's grief

November 16 is Children's Grief Awareness Day — a day designed to help all become more aware of the needs of grieving children and to help them receive the support they need. 

•   One in five children will experience the death of someone close to them by age 18. 

•   One out of 20 children age 15 and younger will suffer the loss of one or both parents and even more children will lose someone who was a parental figure for them such as grandparents and others who provide care.

• It's estimated that 73,000 children die every year in the US and, of those children, 83 percent of them have surviving siblings. 

• 69 percent of teachers currently have at least one student in their class who has lost a parent, guardian, sibling or close friend within the past year. 

Children's Grief Awareness Day is an opportunity to let grieving children know they are not forgotten in the midst of their grief and not expected to just “get over it.”

Created in 2008 by the Highmark Caring Place, a center for grieving children, adolescents and their families, the day has since been recognized by organizations around the world. The timing of the day, close to Thanksgiving, may be a particularly appropriate time to support grieving children because the holiday season can be an especially difficult time after a death.

Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt, author of “Companioning the Grieving Child,” said “Any child old enough to love is old enough to mourn.”  

Mayor Di An Putnam proclaimed Thursday, Nov. 16 Children's Grief Awareness Day in Winnemucca.