This story provides a good description of the problem (the death of a parent) and some of the processes of grief. It also presents resources for coping with grief but does not have a clear, positive outcome. It is years later before the character is assured that it was not his fault. The therapist may want to help the child build a clearer outcome with questions like the following: What else might have helped to ease the boy's pain of losing his father? How could that have happened earlier? What helps the character maintain his well-being now? Helping the child explore appropriate outcomes is discussed in Chapter 15, p. 248.
When I was three years old we went to live in a mining town because Dad worked there. I started school at pre-primary and it was so good because everything was so close.
Dad took us to the mess occasionally, which is a food diner. I also had lots of friends there, such as Blake, Caden, Willow, and E.C.T. There was a pool near our house. We knew the owner so he gave us discounts.
When I was five years old I rode my bike with my friends and we did a derby and I crashed into my friend and lost my toenail. He thought it was his fault so he tried to avoid us. Later that year we went to the Royal Show by plane and I had the best time.
When I was seven I was playing on the trampoline and the police came and told my mum heartbreaking news. My sister was listening through the door. When she heard she ran straight to her friend's place.
Mum called us inside. She was crying. We said, "What's wrong Mum?"
She said, "Dad's dead." We straight away knew that it was our dad, not hers. We burst into tears. My uncle walked into the room. "What's wrong? Mum tell you off?" he asked with a giggle.
"No, Dad's dead," we said in pain. All of a sudden he lost his strength and sat down.
A couple of days later we went to see Dad's body. I wanted to see him but somehow I didn't want to. I was scared of someone I had loved for eight years. Why? I thought to myself. Was I scared he was going to come alive or was I angry? I wanted to see him. It was hard to bring myself to do it. But I ended up seeing him. He seemed stressed. I was happy to see him but I was also angry to see him.
A couple of days later we went to dad's funeral. I was crying the whole time. Mum did a speech but it seemed too hard (it would be for me, if you asked me). We went in a limousine to Dad's funeral and to Dad's grave. It was so depressing seeing Dad get buried. I never thought that Dad would die. Proves what I know.
When we were walking out of the church, Mrs. Parker, one of my old teachers gave us each a little bear. I was so depressed. Because of all my family had done together, we were like best friends. After the funeral we invited lots of people to celebrate what a great person Dad was.
I couldn't get to sleep for three weeks. I took two terms off school. For years I wondered if it was my fault until one day Mum told me that it wasn't my fault.
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