How Nick Cordero's 1-Year-Old & Other Young Children Feel the Loss of a Parent

Sabrina Rojas Weiss

Click here to read the full article.

Though Broadway actor Nick Cordero is one of more than 132,000 people to die of COVID-19 in the U.S. this year so far, his death has struck many of us harder than others. This is in part because of the many hopeful updates we’ve been used to receiving from his wife, Amanda Kloots, over the past three months, and in part because we know that she’s now the single mother of their 1-year-old son. She has given us this honest view of a worst-case scenario of the virus. Now, we’re wondering what  impact this will have on young Elvis Eduardo Cordero.

“He loved his family and loved being a father and husband,” Kloots wrote on Instagram Sunday, announcing Cordero’s passing after his more than 90-day fight with the virus. “Elvis and I will miss him in everything we do, every day.”

More from SheKnows

Though Elvis, who turned 1 in early June, probably hasn’t seen his father since March, he will feel his father’s loss, according to experts.

“Even infants respond to a death. They miss the familiar presence of a parent who has died. They sense powerful emotions around them, and notice changes in feeding and caregiving routines.”

Studies have shown that the stress of the loss of a father can affect children’s long-term health, so their surviving caregivers need to treat this situation with care.

Developmentally, Elvis is too young to understand what death is, but he will know that his mother and others around him are very sad. That’s OK, though. A grieving parent or caregiver should not feel like they need to hide their feelings from children.

“Parents sometimes want to send their children away to be cared for by others, until they feel they are coping better with the loss themselves,” the AAP guide states. “While this may be necessary on occasion, in most cases it is not what’s best for the children. Remember that it’s not a bad thing for your children to see you feeling distressed. Coping doesn’t mean you have no pain. It means you feel the grief, and also find ways to move forward. When your children see you having strong emotions and dealing with these feelings, they learn skills they can use as well.”

In fact, most mental health experts encourage parents to show grieving children at least part of what they’re going through.

“This is important because it will teach children that their feelings of grief are completely normal and accepted and that it is OK for them to cry,” Jeff Nalin, PsyD, told SheKnows last year.

At the same time, one way of helping very young children cope with this great upheaval in their lives is to maintain as much of their daily routine as possible. This helps them feel safe and secure in the knowledge that someone will always be there to care for them. Routines also help to distract little ones (and their surviving parent) momentarily.

While Elvis won’t be able to remember his father, he will likely still grieve his loss later in life. This can happen during milestones like birthdays, or at random, and that’s totally OK, too. While children should know that life goes on after a loss, is important for adults to keep talking about the person who has died and to keep their memory alive.

“They need to see that grief includes missing someone after they die and being sad when we can’t see them or talk to them,” Jill A. Johnson-Young, LCSW, told SheKnows. “They also need to understand that it is perfectly normal to talk to them anyway — and that saying their name and talking about them is how we keep them in our world for the rest of our lives.”

We wouldn’t wish this kind of loss on any child or parent, and our hearts go out to Kloots, Elvis, and the many others missing someone in this pandemic.

For more help on how to parent a child after a loss, the National Alliance for Grieving Children has helpful information and local resources.

Best of SheKnows

Sign up for SheKnows' Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

More From

  • These Pictures of Meghan Markle in a Bikini Sent Prince Harry into a Rage at the Paparazzi

    Prince Harry really, really doesn't like the paparazzi, okay? The more we hear about Harry and Meghan Markle's complicated relationship with the media, the more we get the sense that Harry was the driving force behind their moving out of the public eye. Since Meghan was bearing the brunt of the paparazzi's criticisms, it had […]

  • Gwen Stefani Reveals the 5-Year-Old Memento That Reminds Her of Early Days Dating Blake Shelton

    In case you need further proof Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are the cutest celebrity couple out there, let us direct you to her latest interview. While chatting with Dua Lipa for a special virtual appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Stefani admitted that she has a special memento that reminds her of her and Shelton’s […]

  • Teen Mom 2's Kailyn Lowry Reveals Her Fourth Baby Name & We Are Inspired

    Teen Mom 2 star Kailyn Lowry is basically a pro at naming her babies, in our opinion. Some of us struggle to come up with just one boy name and one girl name for our list, and here this mom has managed to pick an adorable, meaningful moniker for her fourth son, following Isaac Elliott […]

  • Easy Daily Changes You Can Make to Help Your Mental Health

    When it comes to protecting your mental health, little choices you make in the morning can make all the difference. While no morning will ever look like a beautiful instagram-friendly scene of journaling, coffee and silence and it's unlikely you'll have your family consistently doing nighttime gratitude exercises or yoga, you can take steps to […]