Chapter 3: After a student’s death
Supporting students’ grief
“It was hard to see how upset my students were when I told them. It was harder to discern how to support them because they all reacted in different ways”. – Teacher
In addition to providing information about a student’s death, it’s important to normalize and make time and space for expressions of grief.
Factors that affect grief
Click on the arrows to view the many factors that can influence a student’s grief process.
Their age/development level and personality.
Their mental health, and personal and family history.
Whether the death was anticipated or unexpected.
Their level of preparation for anticipated deaths.
The nature of the death.
Previous experiences with death and other losses.
Whether they had a relationship with the student who died, and if so, the quality of the relationship.
Support systems available to them.
Whether they are currently navigating additional struggles/challenges in life.
It’s crucial to notify parents of other students as soon as possible, either by phone or by email, so that they’re prepared to support their children. Letters alone should not be used for this initial notification but may be practical for any follow-up communication that offers additional.