No one is immune from it. Grief is an aspect of love. We grieve the loss of things we value. Caring communities are what enable us to move through our grief.
Children of prisoners experience the grief of loss of a loved one and/or the loss of a dream. They also often lose economic stability, which could result in the loss of a home and then a move resulting in a loss of friends, possessions, and possibly pets. They also lose of dignity, trust, and hope. The most devastating loss of all is the loss of the communities to support them during this time of grief.
When a child loses a parent to death the community gathers around and grieves with them. When a child’s parent is incarcerated the community most often reacts by pulling away in fear while the child retreats in shame.
For all of you who even remotely know a family going through this time of loss this is a great time to reach out in love with acts of kindness just like you would for someone who has experienced a death. This could include sympathy card, meals, or stopping by with a cup of coffee just to listen. For the nearly 12,000 families that have a family member sent to prison each week you could be their only ray of hope.