Death and dying is often viewed as a topic only suitable for grown-ups. But children can also experience the profound grief of losing a significant person. That can often be a grandparent, but may be a parent, sibling or close friend.
The Sunshine Coast Hospice Society is exploring ways to strengthen supports for families with children experiencing grief.
Coast Hospice volunteers recently participated in an inspiring session with Dr. Heather Mohan, co-founder and executive director of Lumara Grief and Bereavement Care Society.
“Volunteers are excited by what they learned from Dr. Mohan, and the new tools she provided. We recognize the value of making space for this important conversation and supporting both grieving children as well as adults who experienced deep loss as children,” says Donna Shugar, board director and chair of the Education and Outreach Committee for Hospice.
Hospice is holding a public event with Dr. Mohan on March 31, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, entitled “Being There for Grieving Children: Supporting children and families when their world turns upside down.”
Dr. Mohan is a registered clinical counsellor, an accredited music therapist and a PhD in arts education.
With more than 25 years of experience in the hospice, palliative and bereavement care field as a therapist, program coordinator, researcher and educator, Dr. Mohan has presented at conferences and universities around the world. Her work at Lumara provides emotional support and care for children and families coping with serious illness, grief and loss. Lumara also operates Camp Kerry, a family grief retreat program.
Following Dr. Mohan’s presentation, a few community members will talk about their direct personal experience with significant loss either as a young person or as a parent supporting a grieving child. They will share what that experience was like for them, what supported them and what did not, and insights into how to soften the trauma that significant loss can cause in children and youth.
Register for the event at www.coasthospice.com. Admission is by donation at the door. Coast Hospice is grateful for the financial support from Telus and the BC Gaming Commission.