Chapter 4: Supporting the person
Before and immediately after the death
The first thing I feel is sadness – sadness around my heart. It feels natural, something I don’t want to hold back. Grief brings lots of tears, but I think that is a good thing. I think that we all feel like we’d like to cry sometimes, even if we are men.
You may want to try to protect someone by not telling them that someone is dying or has died. You may be unsure about whether to include the person in activities such as visiting the dying person, attending a funeral/memorial service, or visiting the cemetery.
Much will depend on the person’s current understanding of death and dying. These decisions need to be based on each individual, in collaboration with the person themselves and their family/caregivers.
“If I were this person, would I want to know?”
You might ask yourself the above question. Most people with an intellectual disability want their rights, feelings, and dignity to be respected. When they are not given information or included in other ways, they often feel excluded, ignored, hurt, or angry.