In honor of Children’s Grief Awareness Day on Thursday, November 19, HopeWest is encouraging community members across western Colorado to wear blue to demonstrate support for children and teens who have lost someone they love.

“Children’s Grief Awareness Day is focused on bringing to mind the children all around us who have experienced the death of a loved one – children who typically feel very alone in the journey of grief they travel,” said Cathy DiPaola, Director of HopeWest Kids, a child and teen grief support program at HopeWest. The day is an opportunity to let grieving children know that they’re not forgotten in the midst of their grief.

According to, there are more grieving children than most realize—one out of 20 children will experience the death of a parent before graduating from high school, while one out of every ­five children will face the death of someone close to them. Many people don’t realize it takes most children much longer to deal with their grief than community members expect, and that the amount of inner turmoil, invisible to most, is much more intense than what would be expected.

Below is a list of things community members should know about grief in order to better understand and support grieving children and teens in the community:

  1. Grief is a natural and normal response to death.
  2. Every person’s grief is unique.
  3. Grief is not a disease.
  4. Grief is a lifelong process that changes with time.
  5. Children grieve differently than adults.
  6. Children of different ages grieve differently.
  7. Many adults who had lost a parent when they were young describe the death as the defining moment of their lives.
  8. Grieving children and adults need support.
  9. We grieve because we love.
  10. Grieving children and adults don’t “just get over it” but they can learn to integrate the death (the absence of the one they love) into their lives.

HopeWest is raising awareness in order to help people learn ways they might help a grieving child they happen to know, now or in the future. For more resources on how to help a grieving child please contact HopeWest Kids at (970) 254-5377 or visit