Sesame Street Teaches how to Help Children Process Grief

Kelsey Ferrara
Two muppets from Sesame Street talking to each other at a park

The holidays can bring up painful emotions for those of us who have lost a loved one. And if you have young children, this time of year can be even more difficult. 

Grief can come and go throughout life 

Sesame Street created a video about helping children manage their grief. 

This video follows Jesse and her mom, Jill, as they share memories of Jesse's dad. They talk about their feelings, and about small things that remind them of him. Falling leaves, a flying kite, changing seasons – these all bring up feelings of grief between the two. 

What is Re-Grieving? 

Grief is a bit like a rollercoaster; it goes up and down. 

Re-grieving is when those sad and confusing feelings show up again. Many people, like Jill and Jesse, experience re-grieving when the seasons change during the holiday season. 

You Are Not Alone

Vanessa is a Shatterproof employee who knows more about grieving than most. After losing her brother, James, to addiction, Vanessa began her grief journey with the young children. 

James holding baby

“This will forever be a lifelong journey for us as a family,” Vanessa said. “Sometimes there are hard questions I need to answer, and we work through them together. It’s important that we talk about our big feelings – no matter what we are challenged with that day.” 

Grief and the holidays are a tricky dance for Vanessa. “I still want to pick out a gift for James. I want to experience the holiday together. I want him here so much more during this time of year and to fill the empty spot at the table.” 

“When I watched the Sesame Street video, it made me feel seen. It is such a delicate journey to navigate grief with children. This video reminded me that, even in a moment of sadness, you can find beauty in grief.” 

Just like Jill and Jesse, Vanessa is keeping the memory of her loved one alive. “I love to take the girls to the places that James and I enjoyed as children. And on James’ birthday, I make sure we sing to him. He is very much present in our lives, just in a different way.” 

Woman in a support circle

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