Posted 15 Nov 2017
Support Children and Young People – Children Grieve Too is theme for Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week 13-18 Nov 2017
Children’s Grief Centre is showing its support for Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week from November 13th – 18th 2017, by raising awareness in our area of bereaved children’s needs. The week has been organised by the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network to coincide with Universal Children’s Day, November 20th and will be highlighted throughout Ireland.
The week is aimed at those supporting bereaved children, whether parents or carers, teachers, sports groups, faith communities or friends in their local communities. We want to highlight that we all have a part to play in supporting bereaved children through the journey of grief alongside their families. We support family carers and parents in their very important roles. In doing so we can empower them to parent well and also grieve their own personal loss.
In Ireland 80 people die each day, that’s 800 people bereaved. These are the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings of our 1.2million children.
2.2% of nine year olds have lost a parent.
1.1% of nine year olds have lost a sibling.
7% of 9 year olds have lost an aunt or uncle and 6% a close friend.
By the age of nine 28% of Irish children have lost a grandparent.
When someone close has died a child needs support to help them get through their grief. It will take time for them to gain a sense of security in life.
They need to be heard and acknowledged when they are hurting through the pain of their loss.
They need reassurance that the pain they feel will lessen and that life can improve.
The care and support these children receive is vital to the way they learn how to live with loss. It is a difficult task for parents and carers to support children when they are grieving themselves. It is really important for these people to ask for what they need. It is important for families to draw on those around them for support.
These families should not have to cope alone. They need the support of family, friends, schools, faith and community groups as well as government to help them support their grieving children.
What children say:
“Why isn’t anyone talking to me?”
“Sadness is big when you are small”
“The pain is real but sometimes I hide it”
“It will be with you always things will never be the same”
“People keep telling me life goes on, to me that’s the saddest part”
Specialist services like Children’s Grief Centre should be available throughout Ireland, for grieving children and their families should they need them, helping them realise that they are not alone.
Children’s Grief Awareness Day was initiated in the US in 2008 by the Highmark Caring Place and has been replicated by other organisations in the US and across the world.
In Ireland, The Irish Childhood Bereavement Network www.childhoodbereavement.ie is working with 75 regional members to co- ordinate activities across the country throughout the week.
Information on Supporting bereaved children and adolescents is available on the ICBN website www.childhoodbereavement.ie with links to other support material and organisations supporting bereaved children.