Dealing with hard times after loss of a loved one

Published: Feb. 10, 2020 at 6:29 PM CST
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How are you feeling these days? If you're struggling with grief, you're not alone. Visitation is taking place tonight for seven-year-old Grantley Johnson, who died from leukemia last week.

Landon Solberg, Myles Allen and Grantley Johnson are three boys that had a huge impact on West Fargo and beyond.

"We tried to be straight forward with what was going on," said Sadie Rudolph, a close friend of the Johnson's.

Sadie Rudolph is one of the many parents that had to explain to her kids about the loss of their family member, friend or classmate.

"Just let them ask questions and answer the best that we could and just make sure that you're always kind and courteous," said Rudolph. People are going through things that you don't know about.

"Kids most certainly experience grief, and it can look different depending on the child and depending on their age," said Sherri Hashbarger, Village Family Director of Marketing and Communications. "They may withdrawal, they may be angry."

Sherri Hashbarger says it's important to be honest and direct with your kids. She says not to use euphemisms like "they went away" or "they're in a better place."

"It's okay if they see you cry," said Hashbarger. "It's okay for them to hear you talk about how you're sad."

She says it's important to remember the three c's.

"They did not cause this, when it comes to cancer, it's not contagious and remind them that they are cared for," said Hashbarger.

She says you remind them of all the people that they have in their lives and all the people that love them.

Meanwhile, visitation for Grantley will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at West Funeral Home in West Fargo.

The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Prairie Heights Community Church in West Fargo.

His family is asking people to wear Grantley t-shirts and hats, Vikings clothing, superhero shirts or anything that reminds you of Grantley.

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