Monday, January 5, 2015
New Year - Unfortunately Another Crisis
Before school this morning I was asked to speak with a parent who shared that their spouse had passed suddenly last night. We have experienced an unusual amount of death at our school in recent years including parents and siblings. It always goes through my mind that the child experiencing this type of loss will "never be the same." I have a mental checklist that I run through the first day we as a school respond to this loss.
First we need a point of contact with the family and be sure we are only sharing what they want shared. Generally our experience is the children who have experienced a tragic loss come to school every day until the services and return the next day. I work with the teacher(s) on how to manage the child who is grieving and the class being told. We generally tell the class that we want them to be caring, quiet, friends and to treat the child just like they were treated before the death. Obviously this message is modified depending on the age level. Many of our teachers are very young and have no prior experience with a death of someone who is not old. I also remind myself that I have to practice self-care when managing this type of crisis on top of an already full schedule. I am going to go do some yoga and meditate now so I can be fully present tomorrow.