Chapter 3: When a family member has died
When your student returns to school
“I didn’t want anyone to know and I definitely didn’t want to talk to anybody about it. I just wanted to play basketball all the time. I didn’t have to talk or think when I was playing”. – Student
Many students feel embarrassed by crying or expressing other big feelings at school, and as a result may try to avoid initial conversations about the death. This tends to be particularly heightened for students in the early days and weeks following a death when students may be feeling particularly self-conscious and vulnerable.
Give thought to who else might be able to provide additional support to your student (e.g., parents, older siblings, outside counsellors). Consider whether there are any complicating factors that might affect your student’s grief (e.g., previous deaths or losses; mental health issues; developmental challenges).