The Grief Mask

Grief Mask

The Grief Mask is a great way to get kids talking about grief and how we sometimes show the world a different face than what we are feeling on the inside. Kids often hide their grief for any number of reasons including:

  • Fear of adding to the pain of an adult in their life.
  • Not wanting to seem like “a child” who can’t handle it.
  • Not wanting to deal with all the “sympathy.”
  • Wanting to “feel normal” again.

Unfortunately, burying their grief for outward appearances only leads to more significant suffering when they face their grief in private. The grief mask can be an awesome tool for talking to kids about the need to express their feelings and the dangers of keeping it all inside.

Here’s how it works:

  • Get a paper plate and some markers.
  • On one side of the plate, have the child draw a picture of the face they show the outside world.
  • On the other side, have the child draw how they’re feeling on the inside.

Talk to the child about what they’re drawing and what it represents. Follow up with ways they can constructively express what’s going on inside to other people and who those people might be.

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Written by Wayne Stocks
Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne previously started I Am A Child of Divorce and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents' relationship. These are now part of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Wayne speaks frequently at conferences and churches on issues related to helping kids learn to deal with difficult emotions and life in modern families. Wayne lives with his wife, three youngest kids, three dogs and an insane collection of his kids' other pets outside of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to his work with Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne is a partner in a local consulting firm, an avid reader, coaches his son's soccer team and is a proud supporter of Leicester City Football Club (and yes, for those in know, his affinity for the club does predate the 2016 championship). You can reach Wayne at