Staff and Parent Resources For Coping With Grief

Getting Help

  • Close contact with your child’s School Counselor can help to maintain a supportive bridge between home and school.  If you or your child are struggling, please reach out so that we can help at school or put you in touch with counselors or other supports that can help outside of school.  Our offices can be reached at (585) 243-3450; direct extensions and email addresses are listed below.


    • Beki Kaye, Elementary Counselor- x3045 or
    • Teresa Holt, Middle School Counselor- x1119 or
    • Suzanne Scholand, High School Counselor- x1319 or
    • Theresa McDonald, Elementary School Psychologist- x3046 or
    • Jodie Robyn, MS/HS School Psychologist- x1219 or

    For referrals and additional support in seeking mental health services call 211.

    For immediate crisis counseling support call:

    • Mobile Crisis of Livingston County for children under 18 - (585) 734-8316
    • Mobile Crisis for adults - (585) 255-0288
    • Lifeline- 1 (800) 310-1160

    Crisis support is also offered through the Crisis Text Line by texting a request for support to 741741.

Talking to a Child About Loss

Helpful Books

  • Reading books with your child is a powerful and supportive way to process the feelings and events related loss.  Here are a few titles to books that you may find to be helpful.

    • When Dinosaurs Die; A guide to understanding death by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown 
    • The Saddest Time by Norman Simon
    • The Empty Place; A Child’s Guide Through Grief by Roberta Temes
    • Lifetimes by Bryan Mellanie

    Click this link for A list of books regarding loss for children recommended by the National Association of School Psychologists


    **The books mentioned above and several others are available through the GCS Elementary and Middle School/High School Counseling offices.

Tips for Caregivers and Teachers

  • Take care of yourself. When you’re grieving, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. The stress of a major loss can quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves. Looking after your physical and emotional needs will help you get through this difficult time.

    Face your feelings. You can try to suppress your grief, but you can’t avoid it forever. In order to heal, you have to acknowledge the pain. Trying to avoid feelings of sadness and loss only prolongs the grieving process. Unresolved grief can also lead to complications such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and health problems.

    Express your feelings in a tangible or creative way. Write about your loss in a journal. If you’ve lost a loved one, write a letter saying the things you never got to say; make a scrapbook or photo album celebrating the person’s life; or get involved in a cause or organization that was important to your loved one.

    Look after your physical health. The mind and body are connected. When you feel healthy physically, you’ll be better able to cope emotionally. Combat stress and fatigue by getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. Don’t use alcohol or drugs to numb the pain of grief or lift your mood artificially.

    Try to maintain your hobbies and interests. There's comfort in routine and getting back to the activities that bring you joy and connect you closer to others can help you come to terms with your loss and aid the grieving process.

    Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel, and don’t tell yourself how to feel either. Your grief is your own, and no one else can tell you when it’s time to “move on” or “get over it.” Let yourself feel whatever you feel without embarrassment or judgment. It’s okay to be angry, to yell at the heavens, to cry or not to cry. It’s also okay to laugh, to find moments of joy, and to let go when you’re ready.

    Plan ahead for grief “triggers.” Anniversaries, holidays, and milestones can reawaken memories and feelings. Be prepared for an emotional wallop, and know that it’s completely normal. If you’re sharing a holiday or lifecycle event with other relatives, talk to them ahead of time about their expectations and agree on strategies to honor the person you loved.

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