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.
Acknowledge the TEARS… that’s the message the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network wants to get across this month through a series of events aimed at highlighting the needs of bereaved children and giving them a voice that will be heard. According to the ICBN, children are the ‘hidden mourners’ in society and they feel that loss over their lifetime and grapple with how to deal with it. Every child has different needs, perspectives and understandings of what death means, and it’s up to adults to help support children through the painful process of expressing their grief.
The TEARS (Talk, Explain, Acknowledge, Reassure, Support) in this instance are the tools that can be used to help that process.
Talk – Tell them the truth, have open, honest conversations using clear language
Explain – Explain things in a way that they understand, no matter how young they are.
Acknowledge – Acknowledge their feelings. Encourage them to ask questions. Help them to understand and cope with their emotions.
Reassure – Reassure them and be prepared to repeat things until they can get their head around it.
Support – Support yourself – you can’t mind them if you don’t mind yourself
ICBN have provided a selection of resources and graphics for use in workplaces and communities to raise awareness about as part of Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week, which runs from November 14-18.
As part of the week, they’re holding several online webinars targeted at the public and professionals working with children to enhance their understanding of the needs of bereaved children and young people. More information can be found at: