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Newsletters & Articles

LOSS Program Office
721 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Main Line: (312) 655-7283
Fax Line: (312) 948-3340

Featured this Month:


For Fathers of Surviving Children
Monday, February 3, 2014 by Cynthia Waderlow, LCSW, MSE
Does the message to surviving mothers and fathers vary when suicide bereaved children must be cared for? We know that, statistically, more males, than females, die from suicide. We see the evidence in the children who receive services in the children’s program, who are most often coping with the loss of their fathers. But maternally bereaved children are also in services, and we listen for the nuances of the needs expressed by these children.
As therapists explore the issues that arise for children facing life with one surviving parent, we learn about the particular traits and skills that are lost with the deceased parent. Difficulties can arise when we assign these to gender, yet it might be safer to say that, for younger children, at least, the mother is the central figure in the child’s life. And for a very young child, the maternal bond is unparalleled. In the presence of the mother-child bond, father’s roles may overlap with that of the mother, but the uniqueness of her bond with the children is not replicated. Father creates his own relationship with his children. As a surviving parent, you, as a father, may be asking, “How am I going to do this?” You will answer the question in process, as a father whose role and relationship with your children will necessarily expand.
Helping Young Children Build Their Story of The LOSS
Wednesday, January 1, 2014 by Cynthia Waderlow, MSE, LCSW
Working with the youngest children after the suicide of their sibling or parent is not easy, but the potential for healing is gratifying, and can have far-reaching consequences for their emotional development. Grief work with children between the ages of three and five is more challenging because they tend to occupy the moment.  It is work for them to mentally move backward and forward in time, and to put words to the thoughts that are necessary for a narrative, a story that explains the loss.  Besides the limitations of early childhood development, a bereaved child is likely to be stressed, fatigued or coping with caregiving or housing changes, in addition to the sudden absence of the loved one.  The suicide-bereaved child will create narrative in disconnected pieces.  These story fragments don’t seem to quiet the need to understand the absence for very long, so grief work will be intermittent in the context of the child’s daily life.