By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
When disaster strikes, families learn to grieve
Placeholder Image
Twenty-eight American families are waiting to hear the fates of their loved ones who were on a cargo ship, El Faro, that went missing last week as Hurricane Joaquin made its way toward the East Coast, according to NBC News.

According to NBC, the ship, which first went missing around 7 a.m. last Thursday, was headed for San Juan, Puerto Rico, having come from Jacksonville, Florida. There were 28 Americans on board, along with five people of Polish descent.

Danielle Randolph, a 34-year-old woman from Rockland, Maine, is one of the missing Americans onboard, according to NBC. Her mother is desperately waiting for her.

"She is usually the only female aboard the ship, but even though she is a short little girl she can handle her own well," Laure Bobillot, mother of Randolph, said in a statement, according to NBC News. When she's home, she's all girlie girl. She's an avid Barbie doll collector and loves to dress up retro style, shop and bake. Ever since an extremely young age, she wanted to work on the ocean."

But this is hardly the first time families have grieved over national tragedies and disasters. Families and friends grieved after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed last year, too, according to CNN. Some families told memories of their children to CNN, while others talked about how their family members will still affect them.

"It feels like they're already one with me now," said Mika, a boy who missed the MH-17 flight that included his brothers. "I feel like they're going to watch over me forever.

And South Korean families continue to grieve even now after the Sewol ferry boat sank in the Yellow Sea last year, CNN reported. Though wreckage from the ferry has been recovered, nine people have yet to be found, according to CNN.

"We, the families of the missing victims, are still living the day April 16, 2014," said Park Eun-Mi, whose daughter, Huh Da-yun, was on the ferry. "I cannot think about anything except to find my daughter and other missing people."

Struggling with grief, especially in cases where family members have gone missing, can be tough. But there are ways a family can handle their grief and their childs grief.

For example, there are a number of grief therapists who aid families affected by grief after natural disasters or major events, according to Psychology Today. There are even treatment facilities that will offer therapeutic environments for families to handle their grief and find solutions for a better future for their family.

For children, some of the best lessons of handling grief come from the TV show Sesame Street, that has long offered lessons on the topic through its When Families Grieve lessons, which often help families who have lost someone because of military service. Other families can benefit from the lessons, too.

The death of a loved one is an experience that affects us all, the website reads. These When Families Grieve resources will always be here to provide support to families during this most difficult time.

Similarly, PBS suggests parents talk and share ideas about handling grief with their children, like explaining what happened that caused the grief, various feelings on the loss of a loved one and how to move on.

Its also important for parents and children to offer support with one another, according to PBS. Parents should try their best to help their children cope with any life changes that come their way, which sometimes includes creating a new normal, according to PBS.

This also helps create an environment for children where they feel safe talking about their grief, PBS reported.

As you move forward, you may find your family laughing and having fun together more often, PBS reported. Trust that the memories you and your child create and celebrate will go a long way toward building a sense of emotional resilience that can last a lifetime.

PBS has a number of printable activity books families can use for dealing with grief, many of which are connected to the Sesame Street program.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter