My Personal Experience and Advice
When I was 13 years old, just before entering high school, my dad passed away. Having to go through life without him after that point, was and still is incredibly hard. I can imagine that dealing with me also wasn't easy. I have some tips and pointers for everyone involved below. Use them as you wish when dealing with this sensitive issue.
1. Be patient. The student will grieve in their own way. Don't push for details and be as understanding as you can.
2. Don't discuss what happened with other students or in front of the class. Nobody needs to know except you, the student involved, and the parent.
3. Most importantly, be there. If they need you, they'll let you know exactly what they do need you for.
1. Get them the help they need. Children shouldn't go through this alone, and if you are also experiencing this loss, you may want to consider getting some therapy for the child. They need an outlet to talk to about their loss and a therapist will help them with their needs.
2. Be present. They need you now more than anything. Be there for them for whatever they need.
3. Don't trivialize their pain. Whether it was a distant relative or another parent, loss as a child is new and terrifying. It's their first real experience with the end and they'll need to vocalize their fears and feelings. Let them know that what they're feeling is normal and expected, and that it is okay to have these feelings.
1. Ask for help! If you need help from your teacher for additional time on an assignment, or you just have to talk to someone, ask a teacher or parent for the help you need. It is okay to need more from your support system during this time and they will be more than willing to help you with whatever you need.
2. Find a hobby. Do something, anything to take your mind off of your pain. It's okay to keep busy during this time. Process your feelings when you're ready.
3. It will be okay. You'll hear this a lot, but know that it's true. You'll never, "get over," this loss, but the pain will be less as time goes on. Also know that you'll hear so many things repeated over and over. Just say thank you. It's ok to not feel that things will be okay eventually. It's okay to feel whatever you're feeling, just continue to feel and work through it.