I had no idea how to talk to my children about a loved one’s death. I’m not alone.

“It is important to know that kids grieve differently than adults. And oftentimes, what may appear to be a frivolous play activity for children may actually be a very worthy way that they are working through grief,” says Linda Goldman, a therapist in Maryland whose work focuses on children and grief. Goldman, who has written several books on the subject, recalls working with a 5-year-old who had lost his mother. Goldman handed him a telephone and asked him if he’d like to call her. The little boy picked up the phone and began a conversation. “ ‘Hi mommy, I really miss you. How are you? Let me tell you about my day,’ ” Goldman says.

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