Loss, Grief and Bereavement
In children’s palliative care both the sick child and their family members are affected by loss and death. It is the one topic most of us dread discussing and avoid whenever possible.
Zoë Clark-Coates, grief expert and founder of The Mariposa Trust writes:
“One of the things I have learnt on my journey is the way we view grief and loss, especially baby loss, depends on our personal views of death and life. If one values every life, whether it be short or long, that changes how we grieve and importantly how we live. If we want to embrace life, we also need to accept death; the two go hand in hand and if we can lose the fear surrounding this often taboo subject, we can become open to the emotions that grief and loss bring.”
An important requirement in being able to walk with others in their grief journey is to be aware of what constitutes loss, your own experience of loss and your attitude towards loss, death and grief. It is also important to understand that when children experience loss, it affects their sense of security and they lack the skills to help them adjust to situations of loss. This can make them more vulnerable to the effects of loss than adults.
By the end of this course you should be able to:
- Understand the meaning of loss, grief, mourning and bereavement.
- Be aware of the many models and theories of grief and how they inform support for those who grieve.
- Appreciate the difference between the ways adults and children experience grief.
- Understand how children experience grief at different ages and how best to support them.
- Understand anticipatory grief and how to manage it.
- Understand complicated and delayed grief and how to manage them.
- Describe ways to support families through grief, loss and bereavement.
- Appreciate the importance of memory work.