13 Children, Teens and Suicide Loss You might say, “Your mom really liked this song,” or “Your dad made the best pizza.” By doing this, you give children permission to share their own feelings and memories. Let Them Choose Keepsakes and Mementos Children often like to keep objects that belonged to the person who died or that had some significance to them. Consider making copies of photos for young children, so that they can carry them around without damaging the originals. Rather than guess what keepsakes, clothing, or pictures a child might like, ask which ones are important to them. If the child doesn’t feel up to choosing keepsakes yet, you can put items in a box for them to go through once they are ready. Make Time for Play and Relaxation Make sure children get a break from the seriousness of grief, and give them opportunities to have fun. If you do not feel up to playing yet, consider asking a relative or family friend to play with your child. When you’re able to, join your child in these times of recreation and creativity. Seeing you play and have fun can reassure your child that your family is going to be okay. Teens, too, need time to relax, listen to music, be with their friends, or be by themselves. Encourage them to keep up with extracurricular activities that they’re good at, such as sports, band, etc. These types of activities tend to be the first to fall by the wayside after a loss, but it’s important for teens to feel successful at something they enjoy. Maintaining an Open Dialogue Open and truthful communication in the days, months, and years that follow a suicide loss will help children continue to process and make meaning of the death. It’s normal for children to have a lot of questions, and for young children in particular to ask the same ones repeatedly. This doesn’t