How unresolved grief can affect children who have lost a parent or caregiver because of COVID

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How unresolved grief can affect children who have lost a parent or caregiver because of COVID

Ten-year-old London McBurnie and her mom, Lauri Clay (ph), started coming to Kate’s Club after London’s dad, Joel McBurnie, died of COVID in August at age 46. Processing grief in the time of COVID is complicated. Some children feel guilty for infecting a parent. Others, like London, are angry that their parent didn’t get vaccinated or wear a mask.

London McBurnie, Daughter of COVID Victim: Yes, because it reminds me of not — of daddy not wearing the — his mask at the soccer — the last soccer game. And I told him to put it on, but he said he would put it on, but he never did. So — and I — that’s when I got mad.

Story Highlights

  • Compared to kids who have never lost a parent, bereaved children are at significantly increased risk for lower self-esteem and poor academic performance. They’re at greater risk for death due to illness, suicide, drug abuse, and violent crime.

  • And do you find, when people don’t wear their masks, does that make you mad?