Chapter 2: When a family member is dying
“I tried not to call too often, but I felt it was important to stay in-touch and aware of any new developments so that I could support Sara at school”. – Teacher
Ongoing, two-way communication between your school and the family is an essential element in providing good grief support. The support that children receive prior to an anticipated death can significantly influence their grief process following the death. Therefore, there is a substantial need for support during this time.
Many people underestimate the ability of very young children, especially two and three year olds, to understand issues related to illness, death, and grief. Any infant or child who is old enough to have an attachment to someone is old enough to grieve. Just like older children and youth, young children also benefit from having access to open and honest information about an illness and/or death.
Work with the child’s family to help them take an open and honest approach with their young child. Encourage the family to share short, honest statements about what happened. “Your dad died in a car accident”.