TEXAS CITY — The Social Security Administration and the United States Census Bureau have estimated that there are 1.5 million American children who are grieving the death of a parent, but the statistics may not hit home until you’ve had a death in your own family.

If you’ve observed grieving youngsters, you’ve probably noticed that the children and teens in your family responded very differently to the death than the adults.

Children who are quietly struggling to come to terms with the death of a beloved parent, grandparent, sibling or friend may show subtle clues that they are still grieving, such as sleep disturbances or regressive behaviors.

They may even wonder whether they are somehow responsible for the death of their loved one.

Physical symptoms and behavioral changes are normal for grieving youngsters, and may appear, disappear and reappear over a long period of time, but the impact of a death can last a lifetime, if left unaddressed.

Children might not be as obvious in how they show their grief, but like adults, they feel their loss more acutely on special days.

To acknowledge these special feelings, Hospice Care Team plans its seventh annual Mother’s Day Memories event for children grieving the loss of a mother, grandmother or another special female relative or friend on May 3 at the Hospice Care Team’s office in Texas City.

Special age-appropriate activities will be provided to help grieving children and teens acknowledge and honor these special people in a different way this year.

Led by licensed counselors, the children will move from age-appropriate activities designed to promote remembering and sharing of memories to a fun-filled pizza lunch.

Each child will take home special memory item they have created to place on their loved one’s grave or to keep. A special balloon release is planned for the finale to help the grieving youngsters have closure from their loss.

Hospice Care Team is a nonprofit, community based hospice serving Galveston and Brazoria counties, Pasadena, Deer Park, Southeast Houston and surrounding areas since 1983.

At a glance

WHAT: Seventh annual Mother’s Day Memories

WHO: Hospice Care Team

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 3

WHERE: 1708 N. Amburn Road, in Texas City

CALL: Rebecca Deaton, 409-938-0070 or 800-545-8738

COST: Free, but space is limited

DETAILS: The event is for children grieving the loss of a mother, grandmother or another special female relative or friend.

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