July is Bereaved Parents Month

The natural order of life is for children to outlive their parents. If that natural order is disrupted it creates a life shattering scenario that no one is ever prepared to face. Losing a child is perhaps the most devastating emotional trauma that anyone can experience. Palliative care specialists and hospice are a great source of support for parents caring for a seriously ill child, especially when their child’s diagnosis becomes terminal.

There have not been many studies dedicated to grieving the loss of a child. The research that has been done indicates that the psychological damage parents suffer does not heal over time.  They tend to experience intense sorrow and a display many of the characteristics of complicated grief. Simply defined, complicated grief is an unceasing despair that does not fade over time and interferes with a person’s ability to return to a normal life. Complicated grief requires professional counseling to overcome.

Common signs of complicated grief may include:

  • Intense lasting sorrow

  • Continued disbelief that their loved one is gone

  • Relentless preoccupation with their loved one's death

  • Extreme bitterness or anger

  • Obsession with reminders of their loved one

  • Sustained inability to enjoy happy memories of their loved one

  • Persistent longing for the deceased

  • Severe detachment

  • Excessive avoidance of reminders of their loved one

  • Compelling desire to join their loved one

  • Exaggerated distrust of others

  • Overwhelming hopelessness that life no longer has meaning

  • Escalating dread that interferes with the activities of daily living

  • Increased isolation from others and social activities

  • Displaced blame or an unrealistic idea that they could have prevented the death

Parents will try anything to save their child’s life, but when treatments are no longer effective, hospice care can ease the child’s discomfort and, in some cases, extend life. Hospice gives a terminally ill child the best possible quality of life while supporting distraught family members.

Take time this month to visit children’s hospitals in your service area to provide support for families facing the unthinkable.

Visit Tagwebstore.com for your hospice marketing media.


Related Resource: https://grief.com/books-on-the-loss-of-a-child/ 

Highlight your grief assistance this July

It’s something we seldom discuss, but the loss of a child or grandchild is among the most tragic and painful events a parent can experience.

It doesn’t matter whether the child was 5 minutes or 50 years old — the loss is devastating. July is Worldwide Bereaved Parents Awareness Month. Make an effort this month to raise awareness about grief, depression, and coping.

  • Visit the Association for Death Education and Counseling’s website to access their educational resources on grief to begin familiarizing yourself with grief and ways to help.
  • Volunteer to provide refreshments for the attendees of a local grief support group meeting. Contact the Compassionate Friends, an organization that supports family members after a child dies, for information about groups in your area.
  • If you already host support groups, make sure they are posted on your company’s website and listed in your local newspaper’s community meetings section.
  • Hospice agencies, distribute a newsletter focused on grief to the family members of your patients.
  • Host a class on understanding depression at a local library. Distribute additional information to attendees and be sure your agency’s name and contact information is prominently displayed.
  • Put together a handout on how to help someone who is grieving. This should include simple things to say and do. Distribute it to your community-based referral sources. Find materials to get started at the websites of Bereaved Parents of the USA, AARP, and helpguide.org.
  • In memory of those children (including adult children) and grandchildren who have passed, host a balloon or butterfly release in your community. (Note: Butterflies are much more environmentally friendly.) Spread the word at area churches, senior centers and libraries, and don’t forget to alert the media. The event can include a short program that includes acknowledging the loss. Provide plenty of tissues, refreshments and care. You can invite other non-competing providers to participate as well.
  • Hospice companies, drop in to reconnect with referral sources and remind them of the support services available to your patients' loved ones for an extended period after the patient has died. Leave behind a flyer with the schedule of your upcoming grief support meetings.