This week, from 14th to 18th November, is Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week for 2022.
Every November, the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network (ICBN) organise a series of events across Ireland to highlight bereaved children’s needs and provide a voice for them to be heard.
Children are the “hidden mourners” in our society. They will feel their loss over a lifetime, and in different ways as they grow and learn to understand the real meaning of death and loss. Every child has different needs, perspectives and understandings of what death means.
As adults we know that grief is a normal reaction to loss, it’s important to understand a child’s way of processing grief and try to support them so that they don’t feel that they should be ‘over it’ within a certain period of time – and more importantly so they don’t think something is wrong with them if they feel the loss coming up again and again.
All adults can help children understand the big feelings after the death of a loved one and be open to talk, explain, reassure and answer questions in an honest and age-appropriate way.
The main theme this year is “See their need – we can all help!” and is captured in this short video on how adults can support a child who is grieving. Its key message is that anyone who has a relationship with the child has a role to play – this could be a teacher or a coach as well as close friends and family.
All adults can help by understanding and seeing the needs of bereaved children. We are asking people to take one minute to watch the video and learn how anyone can help to build a compassionate community where bereaved children are supported to express grief.
There are several online events this week targeted at the public and professionals. Visit childhoodbereavement.ie