Chapter 5: Supporting children and teens
Supports and strategies
I was reluctant to have Emma
present at the death, but we prepared her for what to expect and talked with
her about it after. She told us that it wasn’t scary, and that the main thing
was that she wanted to be with us at the time.
My son was angry that he wasn’t given the choice to be present. It took many conversations for him to understand that his grandpa thought it would be too hard on him.
Our KidsGrief.ca platform
includes a chapter on preparing
for a medically assisted death that includes video clips by
children’s grief specialists on how to talk with children about MAiD, support
them in their grief, and navigate challenging situations. The content was
developed by children’s grief specialists and families who’ve supported a
It also provides guidance on:
What may help
Maintaining routines, limits, and expectations as much as possible will help your children feel safe and secure.
Reassure them that even though you’re grieving, you’re still able to take care of them.
Share with them the ways that help you calm and soothe yourself. This can be anything from talking to friends and family, digging in the garden, going for a run, or reading a good book.
Children may benefit from outside help and spending time with peers who are also grieving. This can take the form of:
- Grief support groups
- Bereavement camps
- Counselling with someone who specializes in children's grief
Ask the MAiD team, your local hospice, or a palliative care program about resources for grieving children in your area.Never hesitate to seek grief counselling for yourself. Helping yourself in your grief goes a long way toward helping your kids in theirs.