Therapists Aid Children in Dealing With Loss of Mentor Brandon Bradshaw

By: Melissa Warren Email
By: Melissa Warren Email

"Tell the truth. Be honest.  Tell enough to answer the child's question.  For younger children, you'd want to tell them things in bits and pieces," said Trabue.

Kentucky State Police are not releasing any more information regarding last week's officer involved shooting in Bowling Green, and a judge has ordered the warrants in the investigation to be sealed.

Following the shooting, members of the theater community are dealing with the loss of a friend and mentor, many of whom are young children.

Therapists from the Trabue Group have been sitting in on practices for Fountain Square Player's upcoming show, the Bridge to Tarabithia, a show that will no longer be under the direction of Brandon Bradshaw. One therapist says they were at their last meeting just in case a child has grief or questions. She says parents should watch for these signs too.

"Children may seem preoccupied. They may seem overly energetic. They may be more subdued. I would say there's no right or wrong way to handle grief, so the sky is the limit for what you could look for. What parents want to watch out for would be the child who doesn't seem to bounce back," said Certified Professional Clinical Counselor and Trabue Groups owner Jan Trabue.

Trabue says children should talk about the issue if they want to.

"Tell the truth. Be honest. Tell enough to answer the child's question. For younger children, you'd want to tell them things in bits and pieces," said Trabue.

Trabue says they have to feel comfortable talking about a tragedy.

"Let the child know there's nothing they can say that's right or wrong or stupid," said Trabue.

When in doubt, Trabue says you should contact a professional, but giving children an explanation and an outlet for their grief is something anyone can do.

"Be honest. Tell things in bits and pieces, and create ways for their child to be able offer his condolences to the family. Create ways for the child to get involved if he wants to," said Trabue.

Trabue says making cards, sending messages, and participating in vigils and marches are some ways a child can feel they have helped, and in turn cope with their loss.

Below are links to some information the Green River Regional Education Cooperative (GRREC) has provided the families of those Bradshaw worked with at SkyPAC through the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement and the Kentucky Community Crisis Response Board.

The Trabue Group is providing counseling and information to those who worked with Bradshaw at Fountain Square Players. Their information is also included in a link below.

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