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Book explores how children grieve

Natasha Daniel's children's grief after the death of their father was inspiration

  • Scott LaMar

Aired; November 21st, 2023.


Some six million children in the U.S. will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the age of 18. Their grief is personal and not widely understood by those around them.

When Natasha Daniel’s healthy 42-year-old husband suddenly died of a blood clot, she and her three children were thrown into the darkness of grief. Her children experienced difficulty eating, sleeping, and focusing. People treated them differently and they lost some friends.

Natasha Daniel

Inspired by conversations with her own grieving children, child therapist Natasha Daniels wrote The Grief Rock: A Book to Understand Grief and Love. Natasha Daniel was on The Spark Tuesday, who described what she and her children went through when her husband and their father died suddenly,”It really was like a boulder came and cracked our foundation. I never realized that, physiologically, grief really impacts your body and brain. And so it’s like everything shuts down. I couldn’t really communicate. I really couldn’t speak, I couldn’t read, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. My kids were having their mini versions of this. You just feel like you kind of woke up and everything looks the same. But it’s all in a foreign language.”

Daniel said her three kids grieved differently,”My youngest — she sobbed. It was so hard to adjust. Hold that space for her because I feel like I was like literally in shock. And so, just her sobbing was exhausting. And my son was quiet, like, everything was fine, like he didn’t want to rock the boat. Everything’s fine. And my older daughter became very parental very quickly. At 18, she kind of just swooped in and was very concerned about me. And I had to kind of let her know that she doesn’t need to be a parent.”

What does she want parents of grieving kids to know? “This is what grief can feel like, and it’s normal. It’s going to feel horrible, but it’s normal and you’re not alone. So I think the first step is validating that and letting them know what the experience of grief may feel like for them.”






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