19. Providing Support for Families Experiencing the Death of a Child

  1. Shulamith Kreitler2,3,4,
  2. Myriam Weyl Ben-Arush5,6 and
  3. Andrés Martin7,8
  1. David J. Schonfeld

Published Online: 1 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119941033.ch19

Pediatric Psycho-Oncology: Psychosocial Aspects and Clinical Interventions, Second Edition

Pediatric Psycho-Oncology: Psychosocial Aspects and Clinical Interventions, Second Edition

How to Cite

Schonfeld, D. J. (2012) Providing Support for Families Experiencing the Death of a Child, in Pediatric Psycho-Oncology: Psychosocial Aspects and Clinical Interventions, Second Edition (eds S. Kreitler, M. W. Ben-Arush and A. Martin), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119941033.ch19

Editor Information

  1. 2

    School of Psychological Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Israel

  2. 3

    Psychooncology Research Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel

  3. 4

    Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Israel

  4. 5

    Department of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, Meyer Children's Hospital, Israel

  5. 6

    Meyer Children's Hospital, Rambam Health Care Campus, Technion Israel-Institute of Technology, the Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Haifa, Israel

  6. 7

    Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, USA

  7. 8

    Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, New Haven, CT, USA

Author Information

  1. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUL 2012
  2. Published Print: 27 JUL 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119998839

Online ISBN: 9781119941033

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Keywords:

  • anticipatory grief;
  • bereavement;
  • complicated mourning;
  • death notification;
  • death;
  • funeral;
  • professional self-care;
  • school consultation;
  • secondary loss;
  • sibling

Summary

The death of a child typically has significant impact on all survivors, including the parents, siblings, peers, and members of the health care team. This chapter reviews issues related to anticipatory grieving of members of the family and the health care team and outlines practical guidelines on how to provide effective death notification to family members at the time of death. Since siblings are often forgotten grievers, emphasis is placed on meeting their needs and understanding the secondary losses that often accompany the death of a sibling. Suggestions are made on how to support children's attendance at funerals. The death of a child from cancer is often characterized by multiple factors that increase the risk of complicated mourning in survivors, which is reviewed. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the importance of professional self-care for members of the healthcare team experiencing the death of a child.