A hard concept for most 10 year olds to grasp but one my Treehouse kids now have to live with. We try to guide them to understand that, while the person has died, that person is, in so many ways, still with them in mind and spirit.
So the activity, answer as many questions as you can starting from “what color eyes did they have”, “your favorite memory” through to “if you could say one more thing, what would it be”.
Post it notes were stuck to a chair in front of them and then at the end of the activity the kids were encouraged to “introduce us” to the person that had died.
I am in awe of the strength emanating from these kids. I am sure they don’t feel this strength right now but it is evident and it is helping them to cope. They realize they have a wonderful support group. They realize they are not alone. They realize it is ok to cry.
After completing this activity, we celebrated birthdays in the group but in keeping with our unique “club” atmosphere, we celebrated everyone’s birthday with a lot of laughter, some fabulous cakes, birthday medals for everyone
…and all the time, the chairs with the post it notes, sat quietly beside us all. Absent, yet so present.