Episode 71: How To Help Your Bereaved Child(ren) with Michele Benyo
Episode 71: How To Help Your Bereaved Child(ren) with Michele Benyo
Michele Benyo became a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist after her six-year-old son died from cancer. After witnessing her young daughter’s intense grief over the loss of her brother, she knew she had to help other parents whose children are grieving the loss of their sibling. Michelle provides incredible insight on the ways in which children grieve and she shares tips for parents who are trying to support their bereaved kid(s).
Check out the Light After Trauma website for transcripts, other episodes, Alyssa’s guest appearances, and more at: www.lightaftertrauma.com
Michele Benyo’s website: https://goodgriefparenting.com
Alyssa Scolari [00:00]:
Hey, hey, hey, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the Light After Trauma podcast. I am your host, Alyssa Scolari, and I hope you all had a lovely holiday. I know we are really in the thick of the holiday season. And I also know it has been a while since we have had a guest on the show, and we are changing that up today. I appreciate Michele’s grace. She is going to be our guest today, Michele Benyo. And I appreciate her grace because I have had to reschedule our interview quite a few times due to some health issues that I have been having lately. I’m just very grateful that she is here on the show today. We have a great episode lined up for you.
Alyssa Scolari [01:08]:
So I’m going to tell you a little bit about who Michele is. Michele Benyo is a mom of two. She’s a certified grief recovery specialist, an early childhood parent coach, and the founder of Good Grief Parenting. After her six-year-old son died of cancer, her three-year old daughter said, “Mommy, half of me is gone.” This heartbreaking statement defined Michele’s life purpose.
Alyssa Scolari [01:38]:
Her mission is twofold. To help parents through the unimaginable challenges of parenting while grieving the death of a child. And to help parents meet the unique needs of a child who has lost a sibling in the early childhood years. The desire of Michele’s heart is to see families live forward after loss toward a future bright with possibilities and even joy.
Alyssa Scolari [02:07]:
So this is going to be, I take a deep breath and I encourage you all to take a deep breath with me because this is going to be a difficult, but hopefully very inspiring and supportive conversation. And I am just very grateful to have Michele here us today. So without further ado, let us introduce our first guest that we have had in quite a while on the show. Hi, Michele.
Michele Benyo [02:36]:
Hi Alyssa. I’m so happy to be here.
Alyssa Scolari [02:40]:
I’m so happy to have you. Again, thank you for your grace. It really means a lot to me. I know lots of the listeners are aware that I’ve had some health issues going on. I know as I mentioned just a few moments ago, I’ve had to reschedule Michele quite a few times, so thank you. I’m so happy to have you here.
Alyssa Scolari [03:02]:
We’re talking about a tough topic today. To be perfectly transparent, I am a trauma therapist, so death of course is part of what I work with. But every therapist has certain things that they might not necessarily work with because it might be too triggering for them. And for me, I cannot see people who have lost children, because I have a hard time managing my own emotions around that.
Alyssa Scolari [03:41]:
This conversation is a very new one for me as well, and I’m really looking forward to hearing your story and learning, because in the learning, I’m hoping that it’s going to help me to be able to help more people. Thank you for being here. I guess the first question that I’ll ask you is, can you just let us know a little bit about your story?
Michele Benyo [04:06]:
Yes. Of course. Just to say that your reaction to child loss is so natural of course. I mean it’s called the worst loss for a reason. And when I experienced child loss, I didn’t know what to do with it. My story was that I was an early childhood parent educator. I had the best job in the world. I got to go to work every day and be with families of young children.
Michele Benyo [04:33]:
And I was myself, a mom of two young children. My son was four and a half. My daughter was 15 months. And then he got cancer. He was diagnosed with cancer at that age. And I didn’t know what to do with that. That’s not normal natural child development. And we had to go through a two and a half year journey. And my families in my classes went through it with us.
Michele Benyo [05:02]:
My son was an amazing teacher as well. He was a very tenderhearted boy and I just thought, oh, this child can’t go through this. But he really went through it very well, like a trooper. I mean, he fought it, and that was alarming to me sometimes because he was really aggressive at times. But the doctors and nurses said, no, we want them to have some fight. Those are the kids who make it.
Michele Benyo [05:29]:
But my daughter was 15 months when her brother was diagnosed. They were very close. And when he died, she was three and a half. And she said to me, “Mommy, half of me is gone.” The journey was hard enough, but then realizing what this had done to her, my loss was devastating, but hers was more heartbreaking than mine because here I have a three and a half year old daughter who is facing the rest of her life with half of her gone.
Michele Benyo [06:08]:
And I knew that was a true statement because of what I know about early childhood development and just the formation of identity and just the impact that this kind of emotional trauma can have on a child’s development in those formative years. So I was desperate not to let her grow up broken, with half of her gone. And I thought, well, I’m in the right field. I know where the resources are, but I wasn’t able to find any.
Michele Benyo [06:40]:
And I should say this was 20 years ago. My son died in the year 2000, and my daughter’s now 25. I raised her up, learned a lot of things. There were no resources then. And I did need to figure it out on my own. There are a few more resources now, but I still find that siblings and anyone, any one of your listeners who is a bereaved sibling, whatever age, knows how overlooked that demographic is when it comes to grief, and especially really young children.
Michele Benyo [07:20]:
Not many of them articulate what my daughter did. We don’t want to upset kids. Like you say, when a child dies and when a child’s exposed to loss, we want to stay away from it. We don’t want to deal with it. So I had to figure it out. And now what I learned over my 20 years of just getting my hands on everything I could is what I want to bring to families through Good Grief Parenting, which is the work that I do with parents who are raising young children after losing a child.
Alyssa Scolari [07:57]:
Yes. Before we began recording, I was going through and preparing and reading about what you do. And I thought to myself, this is such an important niche of people who are almost unnoticed in their grief process. It is unheard of. And I think back, the training I’ve had, and we have never ever shown any kind of spotlight on children who have lost siblings. I mean specifically children, early childhood, and what that looks like.
Alyssa Scolari [08:34]:
There is rarely ever a safe space for parents who lose a child, but still have one or multiple children to raise. What do we do? So, A, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so thankful. Can you talk a little bit about how did you get to beginning this? Like where was that moment that you shifted from, okay, I need to not just … Okay, I’m helping myself with this, but you know what? I need to do more. Where did that shift happen for you?
Michele Benyo [09:21]:
Honestly, Alyssa, that shift happened right away, because I was an early childhood parent educator. It was what I do. Even though I had other careers, I was a high school teacher, I was a communications coordinator. Other careers before I did this, I started doing early childhood parent ed when I had my son.
Michele Benyo [09:45]:
And it was really where my heart was making good things happen for children and the adults who loved them and raised them. And that was in my heart kind of because of my own upbringing, feeling a little bit misunderstood as a child. My parents weren’t bad parents by any means, but I learned I wanted to parent differently.
Michele Benyo [10:06]:
So I always had my eye on that piece. And here came something in my own life that was so huge that I didn’t know anything about, even with my training. So I knew then that as I was going, I would need to, especially when I found nothing else out there that I would need to do this. But as I said, that was 20 years ago.
Michele Benyo [10:30]:
And I founded Good Grief Parenting only within the last five years, because my own grief and my own journey and my own focus on my daughter was so primary for me, I just wasn’t able to really … I knew I wasn’t able to step into other people’s stories yet. And now I am. Now she’s raised. And so it really was very early on that I recognized that whatever I was able to glean, I was going to need to share. So this has been in my mind and has been sharpened and adjusted and learned over the last 20 years.
Alyssa Scolari [11:14]:
Wow! Now, can you talk a little bit about what’s very important for adults and for parents to know about the way that younger children grieve in cases and tragedies like this?
Michele Benyo [11:35]:
I think I would address that by saying that where I start in working with families is looking at what we believe about grief and how we handle grief as a society. And the way we handle it as a society with adults is that it’s something to avoid, something that we don’t want to talk about. We don’t want to bother the griever. And with children, that is so easy to do because they don’t usually look like they’re grieving. So what we know about children.
Michele Benyo [12:06]:
A story that I have about my daughter that gives me, again, just conviction in this statement that even really young children grieve, which not that many years ago, we didn’t really believe they did. My daughter, as I mentioned was 15 months old when her brother went to the hospital. For the very first time he had to stay overnight. His dad went with him. We had been through a couple weeks of figuring out what wrong with him and getting this devastating diagnosis.
Michele Benyo [12:37]:
And that night I was home with her. And she was, as I said, 15 months old. Was wailing. She started wailing and making just an inhuman sound. It was alarming to me. I was scared of how she sounded. She was wandering around the house upstairs and down to the garage door and up to David’s bed and just wandering. And as I would try to go to her and comfort her, she’d push me away and throw herself on the floor.
Michele Benyo [13:11]:
She was distraught with every cell in her little body. And I wasn’t a mess. I was pretty composed, but she had been in our home when this disruption was happening. And she had absorbed it and she knew her brother and her dad were gone. And this was, she was grieving. She was grieving the loss of her security. And so that coupled with what she was able to say to me two and a half years later, made me just really, really understand how deeply young children grieve.
Michele Benyo [13:48]:
And so, they don’t show it. Even after she said, mommy, half of me is gone, if you looked at her, she didn’t. You wouldn’t see in her like you might see in me that she was grieving. And we tend not to talk to them because we don’t want to upset them. But I knew enough by the time we went through this, that she had been very involved with the whole journey, because we weren’t going to leave her with neighbors and friends while the three of us were together. Not after that first night where she reacted the way she did.
Michele Benyo [14:25]:
She was with us in the children’s hospital, and so she was very exposed to it. And I just knew that we would talk about this. That we were open about it. And I had to educate other adults around her that Deanna will talk about her brother. We talk about her brother. You’ll talk about her brother. So the other thing is recognizing that kids need and want to talk about what they’ve been through. Whatever kind of trauma it is, they really need to be able to give it voice.
Alyssa Scolari [15:00]:
Yeah. And I think that that’s very important to say that children grieve so much differently, and it’s just not in the way that adults would grieve because typically for any type of loss, even adults who experience loss, there are simply no words. There are no words that could ever exist that convey what grief feels like. So as adults, we struggle to find the language.
Alyssa Scolari [15:28]:
So you look at a young child who doesn’t even have their full range of vocabulary. Their brains are barely developed, and their grief is simply not going to come out in words, it’s going to come out in other ways. Like you said, your daughter was throwing herself on the floor because grief and trauma is stored, first and foremost, in your body, before you even have words.
Michele Benyo [15:53]:
Yes. It will be in their play. That’s why play therapy is so effective with children. That’s what we did with Deanna in the beginning. She was three and a half, and we found a play therapist for her, so that that person could just listen to her and watch her play and talk to her about what she was playing because she was playing about bun bun. Her nickname was bunny.
Michele Benyo [16:19]:
They play about the person who died, and they might play about a funeral or some kind of thing like that, and we can learn so much by just paying attention to what they’re doing. Like you say often, their play might be very aggressive and physical. And their behavior may be what we mistake as misbehavior, because they don’t know how to get it out any other way.
Alyssa Scolari [16:48]:
Exactly. Exactly. Absolutely. Now, talking about play therapy, with Good Grief Parenting, can you explain like the general approach in your Good Grief Parenting? As I understand it, and please correct me if I’m wrong, you work with both the children who have lost a sibling as well as parents? Or do you work with the parents to help them to help their children?
Michele Benyo [17:12]:
I work with the parents. I don’t work with the children because parents are going to be with these kids for the rest of their lives. And these kids are going to have needs for the rest of their lives. I came across a quote early on in my building of Good Grief Parenting. And it is so perfect to kind of explain what I do. And it’s a quote by an author named Anne Roiphe, who wrote a book after her husband died. And in it, she said, there are two parts to grief. The first part is loss. And the second part is the remaking of life.
Michele Benyo [17:49]:
So when we have the support groups and the things that are there right after we’ve had the loss. Deanna went to support groups at the hospital, so did I. But then after our eight weeks, the rest of her life is ahead of her. I as a parent understood, and probably more than a lot of parents, because I was in the field of early childhood development, that this was going to affect so much about her life for the rest of her life. And how did I parent her with that grief-informed approach to parenting, and there was no one out there doing that?
Michele Benyo [18:25]:
So I really am the longer term look at raising these children, not just getting through the loss, because play therapy helps with that. The support groups and the art activities and the things that help kids process it, help with that. But then what about the rest of their lives when they’re encountering all kinds of secondary losses? They go to school and do their little stories on their family and they are … Deanna’s sibling, I coin the term sibling by heart, because she’s a sibling, but her brother isn’t alive to look at her. She looks like an only. She’s not an only. There’s a big difference between a child who’s born an only, and a child who is an only because their sibling died.
Michele Benyo [19:21]:
Yeah. So a lot of needs, a lot of behaviors that children are going to express. When a child experiences the loss of a sibling at a young age, they’re going to reprocess that over and over again as they get older and have a better understanding of what that means to them and how that affected their life and changed their life, and the void that’s there.
Michele Benyo [19:46]:
So I work with parents for the long haul. I am a certified grief specialist, and we start there, because before the parent can help the child, they need to make sure their needs are being met. And their grief is being held gently because you can’t help your child with grief if you can’t help yourself with grief. I start with that piece, and get parents stabilized in recognizing how some of the things we think about grief, that we avoid it. We don’t talk about it. We don’t talk to kids. How to do those things differently and in more healthy ways. And then we move into just, really, what does parenting look like?
Alyssa Scolari [20:31]:
Yeah. Yeah. So I really appreciate that you help. What I hear you saying is you help people in the, when they are more or less emerging from the immediate crisis and the acute trauma. I think that’s very important because that’s when so many people and so many supports pull out. Are you familiar with David Kessler?
Michele Benyo [20:57]:
Yes. Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Alyssa Scolari [21:01]:
The book, was it The Sixth Stage of Grief book, Finding Meaning? I believe he put out a book a few years ago. I believe it’s The Sixth Stage of Grief. I’ve talked about it on the podcast, so the listeners, I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about this before, is a phenomenal book. But one of the things that he talks about, and then I think so many people who come into my office who have had any kind of loss struggle with is in the beginning, when a loss first happens, everybody gathers round, and everybody is there and people are bringing food and people are checking in.
Alyssa Scolari [21:34]:
And then typically after the memorial service or the funeral or whatever kind of service there may be, it dies off. That is when things get so difficult, because of all of the, like you said, secondary losses. So that is where you come in to help support parents when they’re sort of like, okay, now what? Now how do I keep breathing?
Michele Benyo [22:07]:
Yes. Yeah. That is just so difficult. And that is really, I think, where the difference about child loss is so apparent. I mean, that happens with any griever, supports go away later. But when it’s a child, it’s like it’s this triple taboo topic to talk about the fact that a child died. And so people just don’t want to entertain it. They don’t want to upset the family, the parents, and they don’t want to think about it because they’ve got their own little kids, and they don’t want to think about the possibility that they could experience that.
Michele Benyo [22:46]:
I even remember that for myself. I had some friends who had serious things with their kids before my son was diagnosed. And I remember finding myself feeling bad for those families and thinking sort of statistically or whatever, that that was probably the closest I was going to get to it. Somehow thought that knowing these other families that were experiencing this meant that I wouldn’t, in some crazy way. And then there I was. Yeah. Our relationships change so drastically with the people around us.
Alyssa Scolari [23:30]:
Yeah. They really do. They really do. Now, can you speak a little bit about the stages of grief. I know we were talking a little bit about this before we hit that record button. But for so many people out there, and I know that a quite a few listeners of the podcasts are therapists. And a lot of us, when it comes to grief, we are taught what feels like a very simple formula. Grief, here are the five stages. Now, David Kessler has now, there is a six stage, which is finding meaning. Tell me about your thoughts and your opinions on these stages of grief and how they are used, and if they are accurate to what people truly feel?
Michele Benyo [24:24]:
I don’t think they are accurate. And I don’t think they’re helpful because so many people lean on it. I remember when I lost my son, I knew nothing about grief. And I had friends, people who were not professional in any way, quoting these stages to me, that I was now going to go through. And I didn’t go through them. I didn’t in any way, shape or form. And I kept thinking, why aren’t I angry? Why aren’t I this? Why aren’t I that? And I felt like I was doing grief wrong. And I kept looking for these things to happen to me.
Michele Benyo [25:12]:
And I think the reason that there’s so many articles out there and people out there who really misuse those stages, and I think that’s the danger about them because Elisabeth Kübler-Ross didn’t design these as the stages of grief. She stated these stages as what a person goes through when they themselves have had a terminal diagnosis, which is very different. Because I think if I had been diagnosed myself, those stages would’ve been a bit more apparent in me.
Michele Benyo [25:48]:
But I think so many people are not really trained in grief, and they grab a hold of what they’ve heard, and they want to offer something to the griever, so they offer this. And I have been just so appreciative to see that there are many other ways of viewing grief that are now available. I like to think about how William Worden talks about the different tasks that we have. And I love that we now talk about how significant continuing bonds are as opposed to what Freud used to tell us, which is get over the relationship and move on.
Michele Benyo [26:30]:
And so I think, as you know, because you work with people who go through trauma and you don’t see … People don’t go through it the same. They all go through it in their own way. And you need to really, as you know, look at what they’re experiencing, and honor that. And help people through it without them feeling like there’s a particular way that they’re supposed to do it.
Michele Benyo [26:55]:
So I stay away from the stages myself because I look at some of the other things that are going to be happening in the families that they’re going to need to be dealing with. And the fact that since I look at sibling loss and early childhood sibling loss, that griever that I’m focused on, the sibling is going to change in so many ways as they mature and develop cognitively and experientially. Their grief is going to change drastically.
Alyssa Scolari [27:28]:
Yes. I’m sure it’s continuously changing. Always. Now, I just want to make sure I heard you correctly because this is a fascinating little fact that I don’t think many people know. Did you say that the five stages of grief were originally created in response to a person being diagnosed with a terminal illness?
Michele Benyo [27:47]:
Yes. Yeah. They were not the stages of grief. They were the stages that a person goes through, who’s been diagnosed with a terminal illness. So, yeah. Kind of a different take.
Alyssa Scolari [27:59]:
Okay. So if I learned that in grad school, I apologize to my professors because that is so interesting how we have taken that and sort of just generalized it to all grief. All grief. That is really, really fascinating. So with your approach, what would you say, because I know sometimes you talk about the four keys to helping young children heal from grief. Can you share those with us?
Michele Benyo [28:29]:
Yes. I have a Good Grief Parenting framework that is sort of four pillars. I call them heartbeats. But then I also just offer these four simple things that I think any adult who works with children because … So Michele’s telling us now that we’re supposed to deal with this with our kids, and we’re supposed to talk to them. That feels scary, I think, to a lot of adults.
Michele Benyo [28:56]:
And so, first of all, the first key is, as I said, take care of yourself and make sure that you’re meeting your own needs. And that doesn’t mean just bubble baths and walks in the woods. It means figuring out what it is that you really need in the midst of this crisis that you’re having, and this devastating loss that you’ve experienced.
Michele Benyo [29:21]:
And then making sure that you are speaking up for yourself and getting your needs met and taking time to do that and getting the support you need, even though you have young children. Parenting and grieving are the two toughest roles that adults and families have. And when you’ve got to do them at the same time, how do you do that? So self-care has to come first. As important as your little person is, and they are, they’re relying on you totally, you need to take care of yourself first.
Michele Benyo [29:58]:
And then the other key is recognizing that rather than shying away from the loss and kind of avoiding it and kind of not wanting to bring it up to upset anybody, that continuing bonds piece of building the relationship and continuing it forward in new ways is so important for yourself and for your child because that sibling bond doesn’t end. I have met adults who lost a sibling as a young child whose parents never talked about that child again. And they grew up with this void and with this feeling that something was off that they could never quite deal with.
Michele Benyo [30:43]:
And some of the research that I discovered later as I continue to look at this really showed that people who kept that relationship, bereaved siblings, bereaved as children who kept that relationship felt good about it. Felt good that they had it, even though their sibling wasn’t there. So that continuing bonds, finding ways to honor that child in your family or that loved one in your family is a healing thing. So when people tell you, you shouldn’t keep your child’s things in the house or get rid of their picture or whatever, your gut feeling that, no, I want to keep these here, is correct. You are the one that knows what’s best for you. So continuing bonds is a second key.
Michele Benyo [31:35]:
And the third one is conversation, having conversations with your child around this loss and around other griefs as well. I share the story of all of us experience grief in childhood first, and it’s not always the death of a loved one. For me, the first grief that I remember was the loss of a floating toy. I was at the lake, and he got away. Wally the walrus, my riding floating toy that was so fun, got away from me, and he started to float off. And the adults who could swim, tried to get him, but the wind took him out of reach.
Michele Benyo [32:19]:
And I had to stand on the beach and watch him float. I watched him until he was a dot on the horizon. And I felt, I mean to this day, and that was decades ago, to this day I feel that feeling of, oh, I’ve lost him. He’s gone. I’m never going to get him back. And that’s what grief is. Mark Twain has a quote that says, and I’m paraphrasing it, but it’s in all matters of grief, a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are losses of the same weight.
Michele Benyo [32:59]:
The fourth key then is to honor grief, to honor childhood grief, so that kids can learn that grief is natural. Yes, it was just a toy, which is what many of us as adults would say, and we can get a new one. Or the dog is hit by a car, we’ll get a new puppy. Well, fine, but it won’t be that puppy. I mean grief is something that we need to help children recognize is very real and normal and natural. And we experience it, we experience loss, and then this is how we live forward. Those are the four keys.
Michele Benyo [33:43]:
The first one is that self-care. The second one is maintain continuing bonds. The third one is to invite conversation. And the fourth one is to honor grief, even children’s grief. If I lost Wally the walrus today, it wouldn’t be a case for grief with me, because I’m an adult, but it was for me as a child.
Alyssa Scolari [34:06]:
It was. Absolutely.
Michele Benyo [34:07]:
Alyssa Scolari [34:08]:
Incredible advice. Absolutely incredible. Thank you for that. I’ve learned so, so much, and I can only imagine that the listeners have learned so much too. Even phrases like siblings by heart and secondary loss, these are things that are not talked about a lot, but are so, so crucial and vital. We’ve also talked a lot about the importance of communication. How it is so important to continue this conversation. Now, is that what you would say is one of the biggest mistakes that parents or adults would make regarding children and grief?
Michele Benyo [34:50]:
Yes. I would put it at the very top.
Alyssa Scolari [34:52]:
Michele Benyo [34:55]:
Yeah. That idea that we don’t want to talk about it. Like my daughter, when she was 15 months old, she was picking up the vibes. I mean, when they’re around us and we’re experiencing this, they pick up on it. They’re very perceptive. They’re watching us. They’re listening to us. They’re feeling us.
Michele Benyo [35:19]:
And if we don’t tell them what’s happening, they are going to feel very insecure, very worried, very scared. They’re going to see us being upset, and they’re going to wonder, is mom going to be able to take care of me? She’s not herself. So talking to them is really the most important thing we can do. And we don’t need to tell them everything. We just need to tell them enough so that they know what’s going on. Of course, be age appropriate.
Michele Benyo [35:51]:
And one of the things that is so counterintuitive for adults is that we really should use the word dead and died. That’s the only word that really tells the child what happened. If we use those other words, they don’t quite know what that means.
Alyssa Scolari [36:11]:
Right. It’s very confusing for children to say words or phrases like, your brother or sister gained their wings. Or your brother and sister are in heaven. Like it’s very confusing for kids.
Michele Benyo [36:22]:
Yes. Yes. And it’s true that young children, three and a half younger, don’t necessarily know what dead means, but they get the vocabulary word, just like they get all the other for vocabulary words that we give them, and they grow into understanding it. And we can tell them, your brother died. He can’t talk to you anymore. He can’t feel. His body stopped working. And he can’t do these things anymore. You can tell him that we bury him or whatever, or just that they’re not going to see him again.
Michele Benyo [37:03]:
And then let their questions guide the information that you give them. And that’s why as they get older and they understand it more, then they’re going to ask some of the questions they maybe didn’t ask earlier. But they still know that what happened is this thing called dead. And so they never have any doubt that they’re not going to see this person again.
Alyssa Scolari [37:26]:
Exactly. Exactly. Thank you.
Michele Benyo [37:28]:
And they’re not afraid of that the way we are. Adults don’t want to use those words. I had to learn to say my son died. I had to learn to be able to get that phrase out to anybody, let alone my daughter, because we don’t want to describe it that way. But to my daughter, it’s just a word. It’s what happened. Kids don’t shy away from that word the way adults do.
Alyssa Scolari [37:55]:
Right. Kids do not attach the same level of heaviness or stigma or shame to so many words. That’s something children learn as they grow into adults. We learn so much from children.
Michele Benyo [38:09]:
Alyssa Scolari [38:10]:
We really do. We really do. That’s a whole another podcast-
Michele Benyo [38:14]:
Alyssa Scolari [38:17]:
Michele, thank you so much for being here today. If people would like to find you, where can people reach you?
Michele Benyo [38:24]:
They can reach me at my website, goodgriefparenting.com. Right at the top of that page, they can download a copy of my Good Grief Guide. So it’s the Good Grief Guide on goodgriefparenting.com. And in the Good Grief Guide, I actually do provide more information about some of these ideas of grief that are misleading for us and how we cope with it. As well as suggestions for actually how to talk to kids, because that’s the other thing. Okay, you tell me to talk to my child, how exactly do I do that?
Michele Benyo [39:03]:
So I would just ask all of your listeners to download this Good Grief Guide, whether or not you know anyone right now, any child right now who’s grieving, so that you have it when you need it. Or you have it to share with someone who may need it. And you don’t have to go looking for how to do this. And hopefully you never will need it, but you may, and you may be able to support someone else. And then if you want to reach me personally, my website is the place to do that as well. So that’s goodgriefparenting.com.
Alyssa Scolari [39:39]:
Yes. That’s even a great resource to keep on hand for the therapist. My therapist listeners, something I definitely will be keeping on hand for myself as well. You all know the drill, the link is in the show notes. So go on over, check that out.
Alyssa Scolari [39:58]:
Michele, thank you again for joining me and for being so vulnerable, sharing your story. This is a really hard thing to talk about, but I learned so much and I appreciate the work that you are doing, because you are not alone in what you have gone through, and you are speaking so that others can feel supported. Thank you so much for everything that you are doing.
Michele Benyo [40:27]:
Thank you, Alyssa. I was very happy to have the opportunity to be here. Thank you.
Alyssa Scolari [40:33]:
Thanks for listening everyone. For more information, please head over to lightaftertrauma.com, or you can also follow us on social media. On Instagram we are @lightaftertrauma. And on Twitter it is @lightafterpod. Lastly, please head over to patreon.com/lightaftertrauma to support our show. We are asking for $5 a month, which is the equivalent to a cup of coffee at Starbucks. So please head on over again, that’s patreon.com/lightaftertrauma. Thank you. And we appreciate your support.