"The grieving process is different for children," asserts this article. The piece is about a support group for bereaved kids, which sounds similar to the one that I have been taking Bobby to at The Center for Hope at the Cohen Children's Medical Center.
The group has helped him a lot--perhaps the most important thing is to be around other kids who have lost a parent or other close family member, to make them all feel less alone, less different. The kids get into small groups by age to do crafts and other activities designed to help them process their loss. Meanwhile, the parents meet in one big circle and learn about the kids' activities, and talk about how they can help their kids (and, often, themselves) through it. At the end, the kids come back into the "big room" and we celebrate birthdays and sing a special song written just for the Center.
The kids have been having some trouble sleeping some nights of late--not as easy to get to sleep, and waking up in the middle of the night or early morning. I'm looking into some grief-related services for children with special needs, so that I can get some support for Stella, too.