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How to Tell Your College Student About a Death in the Family

Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when you are far from home. Beyond the emotional upheaval from devastating news, a death during college can often inflict undue pressure from academic commitments. If you have a child in college or a college student in the family, the news of death should come from a place of support and total understanding. Keep reading to learn how to tell your college student about a death in the family.

Right Place, Right Time

Unlike college, death does not operate by a schedule. One of the best ways to tell your college student about a death in the family is in person. Your child should be in a stable emotional state before receiving the news. Otherwise, the weight of essays or midterms could send him or her into a state of confusion, depression, or shock. If this death comes at an inopportune time, you may want to schedule a time to speak to your child. If speaking face to face is impossible, it is best to break the news by a phone call. Texts are far too impersonal, and news such as this warrants a private divulging. Before calling your child, ensure that he or she is in a secluded setting, such as a dorm or study alcove. Your child should not be operating a vehicle or in a crowded classroom.

Control Your Emotions

Divulging news about death can be very difficult, especially to a child that may be miles away from home. While telling your college student about a death in the family, it is important to break the news as gently as possible in a soft and compassionate voice. Your grieving process may be far from over, but adolescents and young adults turn to their parents for strength in times of sadness such as these. By controlling your emotions, your child can process what you are saying and look to you as a source of support.

Make Accommodations in Advance

If an immediate family member or grandparent has passed away, your college student may very well want to rush to the family’s side. After breaking the news to your child, you can make all the appropriate travel arrangements so that he or she can be with family during this difficult time. Depending on the circumstances of loss, your college student may not be in the best emotional state to notify professors and counselors. You can notify all appropriate personnel of your student’s need to leave unexpectedly. You can then wire money, purchase airplane tickets, or schedule car rentals in advance to make travel accommodations easier. Advance arrangements will reduce stress and allow your child to travel comfortably.

Is Funeral Attendance Right for Your College Student?

Giving your child the liberty to opt out of traveling home is an important decision to make. Most families deal with grief in particular ways, but the natural death of a distant family member may not demand your child’s undivided attention. Students studying overseas might not be able to travel home quickly without incurring a great deal of expenses or credits. As the parent, you can suggest that your child remains at school until a more appropriate time for memorial.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact Legacy Headstones today for additional information.