My 4 year old son has a good friend who is a foster child. She was being fostered (with two siblings) by a couple who lived not far from us and we were just beginning to get friendly with this family, planning playdates, inviting to birthdays, etc.. The couple were planning to adopt all three children.
About two weeks ago, we planned a playdate for our son and his friend, but it was cancelled at the last moment because one of the friend's siblings got sick and went to emergency late at night. My son was heartbroken - he cried when we explained it to him, he cried again later in the day and again the next day. But we explained to him that we would reschedule as soon as we could. And we did, with a playdate planned for this Friday.
Then, last night, we got a message from the other family. The children are no longer going to be fostered in this home. We don't know the reasons. But not only does this mean no playdate on Friday, it also means that my son's friend is gone.
I'm not sure how to handle this. When the playdate was cancelled previously, we did talk to him about it and comfort him, held him while he cried, etc. I think we did everything right, but it's still distressing to see him so upset. And this time, it's going to be worse, because we need to explain that he's not going to see his friend again.
I'd like to plan something special for Friday, but that seems like we're just distracting him from his grieving, rather than helping him through it.
Does anyone have any suggestions how to help him deal with this?