Children and adults grieve differently, today's episode features Michelle Benyo Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, who reveals what parents need to know to help their child when a sibling passes. She breaks down the 4 pillars to help young children...
Children and adults grieve differently, today's episode features Michelle Benyo Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, who reveals what parents need to know to help their child when a sibling passes. She breaks down the 4 pillars to help young children heal, and the role of Good Grief in healing and living forward.
Hi, my name is Dr. Sarah Adams. I am a board certified pediatrician, but I'm not
your pediatrician. Feel free to use my podcasts as helpful information, but in no
way, do I intend my podcast to replace the advice of your physician. Your
physician knows you and is in the best position to provide medical.
hello and welcome to growing up with Dr. Sara. I have a very special guest
today and her name is Michelle Benu. Michelle is a certified grief recovery
specialist, a parent coach, and founder of good grief parents. After her six year
old son died of cancer. Her three-year-old daughter said, mommy, half of me is
This heartbreaking statement, focused Michelle's career as an early childhood
parenting specialist on the impact of grief on young children, particularly after
child loss, Michelle equips, parents, and other caring adults to recognize young
children's grief and to provide the support children need to cope with any kind
of loss, the desire.
Of Michelle's heart is to see families live forward after loss toward a bright
future with possibilities and even joy. Thank you so much, Michelle, for taking
the time to be on our show. Growing up with Dr. Sarah. Thank you, Sarah. I'm
happy to be here today. So tell me more about good grief parenting. Good grief
parenting is what I needed.
When I found myself as a parent, after a child had died with a young sibling
who articulated what I think so many kids aren't able to say, but really feel. And
that is that half of them has gone. I, you know, I wasn't early childhood parent
educator at the time. So my focus was on, um, the development and.
Uh, you know, the identity formation and the relationships and all of that, of
really young children. And I knew that when she made that statement to me, it
was true. It was true that half of her was gone. Her big brother had been there
her whole life. And so, because that was my area of focus, I just. Was really
deeply, deeply impacted by the realization of, of what that was going to do to
her development for the rest of her life.
And so I, I thought I knew where to find the resources because I was in that
field. And, and I should say that this was 20 years ago. She, this little three and
a half year old is now 25 years old. Um, so I've had all of these years to, to learn
the impact of this sibling relationship. But at the time I just thought, okay, I'll
find the resources I'm in this early childhood education space.
And there just really weren't resources there. And I knew that. Being the
educator at heart that I was that if it didn't exist someday, this is what I was
going to have to do. And so here I am, these years later, I'm taking what I've
learned, not just from my own journey with her, because. As I tell her, I wish I'd
known when you were three and a half.
All that I know now, because over the last 20 years, I bleed a lot. There's been
more that has become available. Um, but I am filling that space for these
forgotten grievers. Um, these little siblings, people recognize my. Loss as a, as a
parent who lost a child, you know, everybody identified with that, but few
people identified with her loss.
So that's what brought me to this place. And what is the approach? Where do
you even start? I, I was reading through your bio and about good grief parenting
and I'm so impressed with. The process that, that you go through with these
families and you're absolutely right. Even as a pediatrician, I don't always think
about when we think about how this loss affects the whole family, but we're
really how to approach.
And, and help a three-year-old or a child at any age understand because, and I
just did a podcast recently about telling the kids, telling kids the truth. Yes. And
also even talking about illness, because if we don't talk to them, And really fill
them. I don't want to say fill them in, but, but if we're not open and honest and
let them see your emotions, but also let them understand they're going to fill in
the blanks themselves.
They're going to think I listened to them. Episode of yours and I loved it. It, it
is, it was such good guidance. It's very much the guidance that I give parents.
And, you know, I started my journey with this saying, okay, I'm going to serve
these little kids. I say that I want to be a voice. For the youngest of grievers,
because most of them are not going to say what my daughter said, but I realize
that I can't just start there.
I really do need to start with the parents. First of all, the fact that a parent who's
who's. Has a child who's experienced the loss of a sibling is a parent who's
grieving the death of their child. And so they are doing the two toughest jobs
that were ever called to do parenting under the best of circumstances is tough.
And then grieving the loss of a loved one and a child and parents are trying to
do that at the same time. So I need to start there with parents, helping them, you
know, acknowledging. This challenge for them and their own grief and
recognizing that much of what we bring into adulthood around grief is not
necessarily helpful and healthy.
And that's because that's what we were given as children. I didn't know any of
this. When I lost my son, it was the first loss I had. I had to learn all of this. And
one of those ideas is I want to protect my child. I want to shelter my child. I
don't want my three and a half year old to have to face. This it's painful and I
just don't want to deal with it with them, but we really do have to, we have to be
comfortable with the word dead.
That's one of the hardest things when you talk about yeah. So when you talked
about that on your podcast, I thought, yes, it's hard for us. Not because. It's a
difficult word for the three and a half year old. It's just another vocabulary word.
Like all the vocabulary words they're learning at that age. But for us as adults,
we have the full understanding of that.
And no one wants to say my child died or my husband died or, you know, My
father died. So being honest with children is, is more than just telling the parent.
You need to be honest, it's really the parent getting comfortable with what that
means and your guidance was so spot on with the idea that, you know, we don't
have to give them a lot of details.
We keep it very simple for this young age. But they will, they will fill in the
blanks. You mentioned that sometimes as, um, unrealistic or unreasonable, as it
may seem to us, sometimes they may even feel like somehow it's their fault.
There are all of these things that they, um, that they will. Start fabricating in
If, if we don't give them the accurate details. And one of the things with young
children experiencing grief for us as adults to remember too, is that as they
grow up, they're going to understand more and more. And then they're going to
ask questions when they're older and you'll give them information.
At the stage that they're at, it's not like you're going to have one conversation
when they're a toddler and then never talk about it again. But you are giving
them honest information so that they are not, uh, thinking when we say, oh,
they're gone or they're not coming back. The child doesn't somehow think that
They can, so yeah. Very your advice was very good. Very good. Yes. I'm glad.
I'm glad to hear that because it's not an easy subject and we, you know, and I
understand that just like you said, you didn't want your daughter to. Be sad or
feel sad, but we, we really underestimate kids that, um, and by teaching them
how to regulate their emotions, that, and to learn it as early as possible and, and
understand that those emotions will change over time, I think is, is very
You know, we, when we talk about grief and we talk about the stages of grief,
What D what are the differences between how adults grieve and how children
grieve? Well, first of all, let me say that, uh, the stages of grief are non-existent
those stages that Elizabeth Kubler Ross identified were actually stages for
someone who themselves was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
So all of that denial and anger and everything makes more sense. In that
context, it was never intended to be a way that people process grief. And when I
was a parent, a newly greet bereaved, parent people, many people told me about
those stages. And I thought I'm doing grief wrong because I didn't experience
I wasn't doing that. And I, I actually thought I. What's wrong with me. I'm not
doing grief. Right. And I think you'll find that there are, there are many of us in
the grief space that are trying to help people recognize. Let's just, let's just set
those stages aside because the fact is that, um, we've experienced many, many
different feelings and emotions and even physical manifestations of grief.
Everyone does. Things very differently and not in a particular order, but your
question was how to kids do it differently. And that's so important for parents to
recognize because, um, we do, we see grief in adults there when someone is
grieving, we typically know that they are with a child. We don't. See their grief
so often, um, you know, my daughter said to me, mommy, half of me is gone,
but had she not said that when I observed her on a day-to-day basis, I wouldn't
have looked at her and said, she's a grieving child because children.
Play, you know, this European attrition, you know, that they process. And, uh,
so much of what's going on with them at FSH when they don't necessarily have
the, the, um, vocabulary, they do a lot of processing through play and that's how
they do grief. The other thing that they do is, um, is behaviors and even.
Adjust as adults may lose their appetite or not be able to sleep well, children
may lose their appetite and not be able to sleep well, may be more irritable than
usual. Um, may be behaving more aggressively, may become a four-year-old
may start acting like a two year old being clean and whiny and doing things that
you think what's, you know, we're past this.
Doing this things that make adults, um, especially because those twos and
threes and fours are when we're really trying to teach children to regulate their
emotions and manage their behavior. So we often kind of continue on that, um,
band of managing their behavior and teaching them what's appropriate instead
of recognizing that this is not.
Purely development. This is response to a loss and grief, and this is how this
child is processing this. And so we need to handle it by acknowledging that we
know that there's this other piece that, um, that. Upsetting them bothering them
that they have these feelings inside. That don't feel good. And we want to be
comfortable with, again, saying to the child, um, you know, things are, are don't
feel really good in our house right now.
We're all missing, David. I feel. Really bad. And sometimes I even feel kind of
angry and, you know, do you feel that way or, you know, when do you Ms.
David or are you thinking about David right now? Is that why you're acting kind
of mad or, you know, these things that, and helping kids understand what's
going on with them?
So they do grieve through their behavior and often in ways that we don't even
see. And so that really ties in with adults who often say, um, you know, they
don't, it doesn't seem to be bothering them, so it must not be. And then we don't
talk to them because as adults, we really don't want to talk to them about it.
So we just kind of. Take advantage of that. And, and parents should know that
whether your child looks like they're grieving or not, if there has been a loss in
the family, that's impacting the family, you can be sure that it is impacting the
child. I'm so glad that you mentioned that just going back to adults and that, you
know, idea that there are stages, because I, I agree with you that many times.
People will think, well, what's wrong with me that I haven't gone through that.
And for sure, I know that children don't, there are no stages of grief for, for
children. So it, it makes perfect sense to me. And I'm, I'm really thankful that
you clarified that because I think that's something very important. I can only
imagine though, being a parent and going through the grief process and trying
to help their child at the same time would be very difficult because.
Like you said, sometimes we don't even notice what it is that they could be
doing. And there's an assumption that they're trying to misbehave or get
attention. When in all actuality, they don't really know what they want to say or
do. And so that's all they know how to manage and I'm bringing the point up
again, because I think it's just so important for, for, you know, families to
understand that that's normal.
And it's also normal for them to be, to play and act like nothing ever happened,
but that does not mean that they aren't experiencing that loss as well. Yes. And
two things I'd say to that are, yes, they're not going to be in their grief
continually the way adults are because they they're just not equipped to deal
with the emotion in that way.
They need to take breaks from that emotion. It's really, those are really big
feelings, confusing feelings to them. And so they don't stay in it the way adults
do. And so, yes, it's not that they're not affected that that does really bear, uh,
repeating. And the other thing I would say is that the parent is not the same.
Either when you've lost a child, you're no longer the same parent. You can't do
parenting the same. You, uh, you don't have the resources to parent that you had.
And so, and you know, your child needs you. So you are really in a difficult
place. And the thing that I want parents to recognize. Well, because I talk about
how to help your child.
And one of the things I want to help parents know is that it isn't, um, it isn't hard
to help your child and it doesn't need to require of you. All of these big
resources that you don't have, what it simply means to help your child is to be
honest, not then you don't have to hide the feelings you don't have to hide.
You don't have to pretend that should be easier for you, and it's better for the
child. And then just going through it with them. It's perfectly okay for them to
know that you're really sad. And to see you cry because. What you are doing is
modeling for them. The truth of how a person feels when they've had the loss of
something that was that they loved, that was really important to them.
You're simply teaching them the reality of life, that some things that we love
and care about, we lose and then we feel really bad. And it's good for kids to
know that the important piece is, and I. Program my program for families after
child loss is called, see your way forward after child loss. And that's the
important thing that at some point, and it's, it's not a certain time.
It's not, when someone else tells you, you should, it's not easy when you are
ready use you realize, okay, it's time for us to see our way forward. And your
child will know. We had this thing happen. I see that mom can still take care of
me. She's sad, but she could still take care of me. We're going to be okay.
And you start seeing your way forward. So just having it be a family, uh,
situation, having it be a family experience, as opposed to. Hiding it from your
child, allowing there to be an elephant in the room that nobody talks about.
Those are the things that are not helpful for children. And they're not helpful for
Do you think that that's one of the biggest mistakes that parents make? I mean, I
feel bad even saying that because. You know, in, in any state of mind, it's it
sometimes on a day to day basis, just being a parent can be mind boggling. I can
only imagine, you know, what parents would be going through and just having
that need to know that they're doing what's right for the rest of their family.
And you are, you need to be gentle on yourself. There are no perfect parents.
There are no perfect parents under the best of circumstances. There are certainly
no perfect parents. Now I would, you know, I, I mentioned that I say to my
daughter, uh, because I. I became a single parent. Um, soon after this and I say
to her, I wish I could have given you the things that I now know would have
been good things, but didn't know then.
And she always reassures me that I was a good mom. The mom she needed. She
reminds me of the things I did for her that, you know, that were good, that I was
a good parent. Your kids will just appreciate you being in this with them. You, I
just really want parents to hear what you said that, you know, this is hard and
you can't, you are going to worry about doing that.
Thing, but, but please let yourself release yourself from that because you are
going to be parenting with your heart and with your own wisdom that is in there
guiding you, whether you feel like it or not, and you are a good parent. So yes,
absolutely. And I, and I love how you express that because it is.
Always, you know, I mean, teaching these families how to deal with their own
grief and then how to help their child go through that process as well. And
having that support, you know, not from something like good grief parenting,
which, you know, you have founded, but even just don't be afraid. You know,
they always say it takes a village.
Right. Don't be afraid to. You know, look for those supports and those people
who can lift you up and also your, your family and give yourself grace, because
it it's a, it's an hour by hour, day to day, week by week. And like you said,
there's no time limit. Like there's no timing on this where it's well, if you haven't
gotten to this point by this time, You know then blah, blah, blah.
But yeah, just one day at a time and, and, and really know that just loving your
child. And knowing that they love you unconditionally. There's so much more
forgiving than, than I think we are sometimes do ourselves. They're very
forgiving to us, but just being present and, and letting them see, I, I, when you
were telling that story about seeing your emotion, we had a loss in our family
recently, and I remember one of the kids seeing two.
Their grandmother, you know, are you sad? And she's like, yes, I'm sad. You
know, and, and they talked about it and it was, it was such a great example of.
They them understanding why they were sad instead of, like I said before,
filling in the blanks and thinking, what did I do? Because a lot of times, if, if
kids don't know, then they're going to think somehow it's their fault or that I did
And this is why my parent is, is acting the way that they do. 'cause they
certainly, they do pick up on it. You know, one of the things, the other story that
I share about my daughter, because she really was my case study that, you
know, if anyone ever doubted how these, uh, crises and families affect young
When my son was diagnosed with cancer, when my daughter was only 15
months old. And, um, you know, as you can imagine, it was a traumatic thing
and our family, and of course she heard conversations, you know, saw our
emotion. And the first night that, um, my son was in the hospital overnight, his
dad was with him in the hospital and I was home with my 15 month old.
And she started wandering around the house. Upstairs and downstairs to David's
bed to the garage door, just wandering. And she was wailing. She was making a
sound that was inhuman. I've never heard anyone sound like that. It was so
alarming to me. I would go to her and try to comfort her. And she pushed me
away and throw herself on the floor.
She was 15 months old and she was. Dealing with every cell of her body that
our family had been turned upside down and that something horrible was going
on. So, you know, these little ones do pick up on it. We, that really taught us in
the very beginning that when we were going through this with our son, She was
going through it too.
This was her life too. I didn't want it for her, but it was. And so in those two and
a half years, as we were in and out of the hospital and he was having various
procedures and being on the eighth floor of children's hospital in the oncology
word with bald kids, Kids. She was there. We didn't leave her with neighbors.
Um, and we saw very few siblings up there, but we said, you know, we're not
going to have three of us in one place and her somewhere else, not knowing
what's going on and not being a part of it. And I just really feel. That was a good
decision for us, for her sake. For one thing, she got to continue that having a
relationship with her brother that wouldn't have been nearly as strong if she had
been apart from him every time he was in the hospital, but she just really did,
um, you know, open my eyes from the very beginning about how impactful this
was for her and that we needed to make sure her.
Uh, her process out processing of it all was in our hands and we were helping
her with it. At what age do you, I mean, that's, that's amazing that she could, like
you said, with every cell in her body understand that something was changing,
that there, that there was something going on at what age do you feel?
Children understand death. And, and then, and how does that change over time?
Like you said, it, the conversation is going to change as they get older. And I
completely agree with that. At what age would you say. If you can even, I mean,
with a range, maybe because every child is different right. That parents can
Okay. I really do think they can understand that word, death, like you said. And,
and, and then when do you think that it. If, if an any, does it change where they
start to, it becomes more concrete, I guess, is the word I'm trying to say? Yes.
Well, the important thing, because we do as adults, we do try to figure that out.
The, the important thing about my 15 month old and even younger is that they
pick up on our feelings and they, they can discern good. Uh, secure, happy
feelings from. In secure, confusing. This doesn't feel good. This person that's
holding me as more tanks than they usually are. The words are louder.
Someone's crying, young children pick up on all of those things. And so even if
they don't know what it means, they know this feels good. This doesn't feel
good. And so that's why we need to help them when we recognize there's
something that doesn't feel good because they're feeling insecure and confused
because they don't know what it is.
So what they need from us is for us to hold them, speak softly to them, you
know, and, and just comfort them and give them that security back with my
daughter. Um, you know, as she. She was there when these things were
happening. We never hid from her. The fact that this was really a serious thing.
When David died at three and a half, she wasn't.
Prepare. We had talked about it. In fact, my son was not quite seven and he had
asked me, do you think I'll live to see my seventh birthday? And we had
actually said, no, honey, I don't think you will. Because we knew he had. Every
procedure, um, that he has cancer had retreated and come back again and they
They could stem cell transplant, radiation, blood transfusions, high dose chemo.
There was nothing more we could do. We knew he was going to die. And so she
knew that and she understood that he was going to be gone. What we tell
children at that stage, because she doesn't. She knew, I think more than some
kids, because we had exposed her so much to it, that there was this finality that
he was gone for kids that don't have that two and a half years of exposure.
We say his body stopped working. That's how we explain death to them when
they don't know the permanence of it, because that doesn't come until, you
know, four, five, where they recognize the permanence of it. But we say his
body stopped working. He can't do any of the things he used to be able to do.
He can't hear you.
He can't talk to you. He can't move or play. He can't eat his body's dad. We just
tell them that's what it is. As they get older. They'll ask why, you know, my
daughter over the years would ask questions as she got older. Tell me again,
what happened to David? What was it like when he had cancer? Because she
didn't grow up with very many memories.
She was really too young to hold on to those memories. And so they'll ask and
they'll realize. As they get older, other things, um, you know, like, oh, what was
it like when we were going through that? The thing about not using the word
dad with young children is that. You know, you can explain it in the same way
when they're young.
But the thing is when they get older and you said, oh, you know, David's gone
away. We're not going to see them anymore. And then when they get old enough
to know what dead means, and they learn that their brother died for some kids,
that's a whole new understanding. You mean he's never coming. Dad. I know
what dead means and he's not coming back.
So for those kids, when they really do know the word, it can feel like death all
over again. So we give them the word and at some point they, you know, they
gain more and more understanding of it. We use teachable moment. The bird
that they find lying on the sidewalk, we say, oh, this bird, you know, not flying
around like birds usually are we say, oh, remember what had happened to
This bird is dead. They can't, uh, you know, their body stopped working. So
they learn it gradually. But, but it's best to just give them the word before they
really know what it's, what it means and let them grow into it. And so how. How
do you feel like your program, like the good grief parenting? Is it, is it unique to
other programs that you've heard about and is it unique because it does help the
sibling with the child?
W you know, the sibling loss, not just focusing on the parent. I mean, that's
yeah. That's all that it is, you know, I still to this day, I think. There is nothing
that I have seen anywhere that is at all, like what I do and the best way that I can
explain it. I found this early on because I, I have trouble telling people what I do
because they don't know there's nothing else like it because I'm not a grief
I'm a grief specialist, which means I understand how grief impacts. Parents and
kids and families, and I help them process that, but I'm not a therapist if
someone really needs to grapple with it. And so, um, there is a quote by an
author named Amroy Roiphe who wrote a book after her husband died. And she
said there are two parts to grief.
The first part is loss. And the second part is the remaking of life. And most of us
get a lot of help with the loss. That's what grief support groups do when you
lose a loved one, you go into a grief support group and they help you with this
loss and they help you get adjusted and acclimated to. You're the fact that you
have grief, but then you leave that group and you live the rest of your life.
And grief is still there. It doesn't go away. Does it dominate your life forever
and ever? No. No, it doesn't have to. You will, you can have bright possibilities
and joy in your life, but your grief will still be there. And so I help families with
that remaking of life. I had a three and a half year old, who said, half of me is
And I thought, oh no, you don't. You're not taking half of my child's life. You
know, self away when she's three and a half, we are going to navigate this and
I'm going to figure out how to help her grow up whole and happy. And so that's
what good grief parenting is all about. It is my own, um, My own program, my
own framework, and I have four pillars.
The first one is, and I call them heartbeats for heartbeats. And the first one is,
um, good grief beliefs. And that is that whole piece of what we believe about
grief. I say grief is good because if we do. Resisted and fight it tooth and nail
and stick it under the rug and never think about it. It will work through us.
We it's a process that will help us heal. It is intended for that and it's intended to
be good. So I start with good grief beliefs and helping parents say, okay, this
grief thing, I, I can handle this grief thing. This is how we're going to do it. And
then the next step is recognizing the shift in the area of grief that, um, so many
people bump into.
When others tell us, don't you think it's time to move on? Don't you think it's
time to quit talking about that person? Don't you think it's time to, you know,
clean out their, their bedroom? No, it isn't. You don't ever have to do that. If you
don't want. There is now a, uh, an approach to grief that is that's called
continuing bonds that acknowledges that actually being able to continue the
relationship with our loved one is healing and helpful death ends a life.
But it doesn't and a relationship. My daughter, uh, was still a sibling, even
though she didn't have any other live living brothers or sisters around her
growing up, she wasn't an only child. She was a civil. And so that's why my
work with families in early childhood sibling loss is so important because that
sibling relationship remains and continuing bonds as a huge part of the family
living forward with the loss of this person.
And the third piece is essential messages, and this is where I really start getting
into, um, you know, the parenting piece. Living forward with this young child.
And it's all the things that, that young child needs to know because their world
was shaken when they were three and a half, their, their childhood innocence
They know that bad things happen. They know the world is insecure, so they
need essential messages from us. Like. I'm I love and miss your brother. I'm so
sorry. He's gone, but I'm so glad you're here. You're my, I call my daughter my
precious treasure. You're my precious treasure. And you know, you're still here
and I'm so glad even though I talk about him and miss him, you are capable,
you are loved.
Um, you know, you can handle things. We don't want to tell kids everything's
going to be okay. Because clearly things aren't always okay, but they can handle
it. And so helping them build resilience. So that third heartbeat is essential
messages. And then the fourth one is what I call choice actions, which is based
on the first three.
Beats then what are you going to do in your family? What are the, you know,
commitments you're going to make about how you're going to live forward?
Um, you know, how are you going to manage your child's? Uh, how are you
going to manage your parenting and your upbringing and your, your, uh, self
care and your wellbeing and your family, and what choices are you going to
make and learning four pieces.
That's amazing, Michelle, I I've been a pediatrician now for twenty-five years.
And like you said, this is, this is a unique approach, but so important. And I, I, I
love the pillars because it just helps put it all together because it's going to be a
balance. And it's something that, you know, they're going to balance for the rest
of their lives and yeah.
And they can balance it. We don't like grief, but you know what? We can be
friended and, um, put it in its place and live forward with it. And I love that
expression live forward because we can, we can apply that to so many things,
but in this talk and this topic and this grief and managing it and. You're right.
If it was so easy, just, you know, and just to say, it's going to be okay, that's just
not enough. And they, they need, like you said, those essential messages and
understand too that you love them. And that just because you're sad or you miss
who in the family, you have lost it, doesn't, it doesn't change. Your love for
Right. And you know, when they're ready to move forward to do that. Yes. Well,
I can't thank you enough for sharing your knowledge and your experience and
your story, and just so grateful to hear these messages. And I really hope that
there's someone out there. If we've helped one family handle. Something so
important as grief and moving forward.
I, I, I just, I know I'm blessed just from hearing your message and we are
absolutely going to be sharing how people can get a hold of you and be able to
work with you. Um, especially if they're in this situation and have a need, here's
you? Yes. It's so inspirational to year. What, what you took as a challenge and
now the lives that you're, you're changing the children and the families that, that
So thank you. And thank you for, thank you for having me here. Yes. It's been
an awesome. Well, I, yeah, I'm glad, I'm glad we got this, this today. And, um,
that we got a chance to talk and yes, I just invite anyone to go to my website.
Um, and which is good grief, parenting.com. And you can get. Uh, in touch
with me there, schedule a time to talk with me, pick up my good grief guide,
which is a free resource.
And, um, yes. I just hope that this encourages parents, that they can get through
this really, really, uh, life changing, devastating experience that they can live
forward. Thank you again, and thank you for being a part of growing up with
Dr. Sara, and don't forget to listen wherever you like to go for your shows like
Spotify or apple podcast, and let's learn to grow up together.
Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®, a parent coach, and Founder of Good Grief Parenting
Michele Benyo is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®, a parent coach, and the founder of
Good Grief Parenting. After her 6-year-old son died of cancer, her 3-year-old daughter said,
“Mommy, half of me is gone.” This heartbreaking statement focused Michele’s career as an
early childhood parenting specialist on the impact of grief on young children, particularly after
child loss. Michele equips parents and other caring adults to recognize young children’s grief
and to provide the support children need to cope well with any loss. The desire of Michele’s
heart is to see families live forward after loss toward a future bright with possibilities and even