This is the second in our series on Grief & Parenting.
In 2017, Brittany and Jonas were raising two young children and pregnant with their third. Then, after returning home from a business trip Jonas was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. Seven weeks later, despite intensive treatment, Jonas died. Aria, their oldest was three and a half. Her younger brother Loic had just turned two, and baby Klyde was still in utero. Brittany talks about explaining Jonas's death to their children, helping Klyde to know his father, and learning to ask for help.
This episode kicks off a new series exploring the realm of parenting and grief. We’ll be talking to parents about what grief looks like at different ages & developmental levels, how they support their kids while also making time for their own grief, and what works and doesn't work for their kids in the intense and confusing landscape of grief.
In this first episode of the series we talk with Josh about parenting his daughter Sylvia after his wife Kari died of suicide when Sylvia was just 5 1/2. His story might sound familiar if you listened to Ep. 117, which is a brief clip of a longer Road to Resilience conversation Josh and Sylvia recorded as part of our partnership with StoryCorps and The New York Life Foundation. If you missed it, be sure to check it out!
In 2018, The Dougy Center was selected as one of a handful of children’s bereavement programs to partner with StoryCorps and the New York Life Foundation on Road to Resilience: Memories that Move Us Forward. Road to Resilience was born out of a commitment to helping children cope with the death of a parent, sibling, or loved one.
Partnering on this project meant a group of staff and volunteers from The Dougy Center trained with StoryCorps staff to facilitate 40 minute conversations with children and their adults. At the end of each recording, families decided if they wanted to archive their conversations both with StoryCorps and the Library of Congress. They also chose if they wanted to share their recording with us at The Dougy Center.
Over the next few months, you'll hear short clips of these conversations in a series of mini-episodes. In this first episode, Josh and Sylvia talk about what it was like after Sylvia’s mom died of suicide when Sylvia was just 5 1/2.
*Music by Chad Crouch.*