How Sesame Street is Teaching My Family to Deal with Grief & Loss
Sesame Street is the place where a lot of us learned the letter of the day, counting and some simple Spanish translations like, agua is water. I learned about what it's like to have a best friend, and to look out for ways to help others in your neighborhood. But Sesame Street has touched on some much deeper topics like; Divorce, parents that are in jail, Autism, and most recently, wearing masks and dealing with our current pandemic.
Dealing with heavy topics isn't new to Sesame Street. In fact, the show taught Big Bird and the world about death and grief in 1983. The actor that played Mr. Hopper died of a heart attack in late 1982. The show's writers decided to be real about the situation, and face death.
My mother-in-law died last month, and while my family has suffered many deaths in the past couple of years, this has been by-far the toughest. My mom died last year, but Chase was not close with her. He saw MeMe nearly everyday. They had so many special times, like their annual pumpkin carving, swimming, going to the park, shoe shopping...I could go on all day about their special connection.
I felt very unsure about how to start the grieving process for myself, let alone my little boy, and his dad. So, I turned to Google. In my many searches, Sesame Street kept coming up as a resource for families dealing with death. As it turns out, even adults can still learn many things by watching Sesame Street.
Here's a really good example of something you can do as a family, to remember loved ones. I think that keeping their memory alive is one of the best ways to honor someone who has died. Our own memories can only last so long, and having a box with photos and other mementos is something to look back on and remember.
And if you have a hard time taking time to take care of yourself, like me, here's a video from Elmo to remind us that We Are Important.
Sesame Street offers free activities and articles about all kinds of major issues that kids and adults deal with.