Chapter 3: When a family member has died


What the grief expert says
Camara van Breemen, nurse practitioner, talks about how children notice when adults genuinely care about their grief.(3:22)Video transcript
What the parent says
Jenny talks about how the school supported Mae's return to french immersion following the death of her sister.(3:22)Video transcript


“It took me a long time, but I finally went to one of those grief groups on the pamphlet Anna’s teacher had sent home. After a few weeks I felt a bit better, at least like I could help her with her math homework again. I wasn’t great, but a little better”. – Parent

The dying and death of a family member is a major event in any family’s life, which often leaves parents feeling intensely vulnerable, overwhelmed, and uncertain. In seeking to provide the best support to bereaved students and their families, it’s crucial to meet families ‘where they are’, offering a range of supports that meet their changing needs leading up to and following a death, over both the short and longer term.

This chapter provides you with various strategies and considerations to help you in supporting your student and the family immediately following a death.