It’s hard to know what to do or say when someone you know loses a person who was close to them. Grief is a scary and amorphous thing, and if you haven’t experienced it, reaching out can feel like overstepping a boundary or reminding someone of something they’re trying to forget.
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Let's face it. We're not always awesome at helping friends who are grieving, but when it comes to supporting children who've lost a close loved one, we often clench up and fumble even more. They're little, and can seem so fragile, and it's hard to know just how much they comprehend (spoiler: It's a lot more than we realise). And so parents are finding that many adults avoid offering kids an "I'm sorry" or acknowledging their painful loss in any way. In The Washington Post, Jennifer Bannan wrote about what happened when her six-year-old son Cypress lost his father to cancer.