I had chosen to do a training on something that, especially more recently, is quickly becoming an issue in education institutes; how to deal with bereavement after a shocking/traumatic event.
The session was advertised due to the recent attacks like Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge. But the main conversation at the training was the recent 23 floor flat that had burnt in West London, so far liking 17 people and the body count continues.
There was one teacher present in the training who said one of the student’s at his school had her aunt under the missing list since they can’t find her body, but this young girl still came in for her Science exam the next day. The word that popped up often was Risilience.
But that didn’t mean that every person or child would all be bullet proof against a loss. The focus of the training was to help prepare us to see signs of bereavement and to recognise that not everyone will respond to losing someone in the same way. A lot of the people at the training contributed their own experiences of loss and compared it to children in their care, creating for further discussion on the innocence of children.
One thing that was mentioned, and stuck out to me the most, was how children can’t or won’t always be able to cope with an overwhelming for too long but will jump from ‘puddle to puddle’ of thought and feelings. It explains why children might cry at losing their mum but then go off and play for hours. As adults, emotions can consume us. Children linger for less on things and so with the proper support, adults working in education can ensure the child has, as best as possible, understood what has happened and has had time to heal.
It was a great session but a very sad one. Talking about grief and death all morning left me tired but reflective. I spent another 2 hours talking to my colleague about how I’ve dealt with loss. Fortunately, I haven’t had to deal with many deaths. But loss isn’t always to do with mortality; it could include children transitioning from one stage of life to another, losing friends, changing home, parents divorcing, job change etc.
We could all be this minute grieving a loss of something or someone in our life. The important thing is to make sure we’re dealing with it healthily and with the help of others.