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Pastoral care of grieving children

Literature often refers to children as the so called forgotten
grievers. In the past, during deaths in a family, pastoral counselling was sometimes more focused on the adults than on children. However, losses that are not processed during childhood will have an impact on the rest of such a person’s life. In this article, the importance of children as full members of the community of faith (also regarding their emotions) is emphasised. Aspects such as the question on meaning, the protective and healing effect of spirituality and faith, and the importance of a passage like Luke 18:15–17 with respect to smaller children are discussed.
The importance of the integration of spirituality and creative expressive techniques and strategies are also explored. Examples of the latter techniques are discussed, while a number of practical guidelines on religious issues for the guidance of the child who has experienced a loss also receive attention.

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