when a child dies

  1. I work with kids... in hoime health care. Unfortunately I have seen several die.I know its not easy... and I know you are not supposed to be "attached" to the families..but can anyone give me advice on how to comfort the grieving family?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   cna on her way
    You have an unbelievable job. THats the exact thing that I want to do when I get my LPN. As for comforting families, I have a best friend whos 4 year old autistic child drowned last September. He ws lide one of my own kids. There is no way to comfort someone. The parent knows in their heart that this child isn't suffering anymore and tey wil take comfort in that and it will pull them through. But only in time. My son has a chromosomal defect and has had several surgeries as well as a mental disability. And I cherish him with all of my heart. If anything ever happened to him I would be devistated even though I know hed never hurt again. There is a website yu may want to visit and get in an some discussions, its "our-kids.org" its for parents and caregivers of kids with special needs. THeres even some memorial pages. Maybe you could jot down the sight and pass it along to some of your clients while they are dealing with both sickness and death. Theres alot of support to be found there.
  4. by   prmenrs
    aren't you supposed to get "attached"? Who says? I disagree.

    Maybe it's because I worked in NICU, Idon't mind getting attached at all. I got so attached to one kid 19 years ago that I adopted him!!! (That may be a bit excessive...)

    I don't mean to get so attached that you can't do your job, but, especially when one of them dies, what a comfort for the family to know that the child's life had meaning and value to people outside the family.

    We are human beings taking care of other human beings--I think attachment has an important place in that process. JMHO.
  5. by   renerian
    Wow I commend you for giving everything you have to these children and their families. I try to get pastoral involvement if the parents think that would help them. I also ask if they would like information on support groups. I also consult a social worker to do some short term counseling. I also would maybe stop afterwards to check so they know you did not forget them. Maybe pray with them if they ask you too.

    renerian
  6. by   Rustyhammer
    Grieve!
    Cry.
    Show your empathy and allow these parents to do the same.
    You cannot change what has happened but you can cry and share a hug and let them know you care not only for a dieing child but for one who has passed on.
    It is impossible to remain unattatched.
    I have the utmost respect for you and the job you do. Having lost a child myself I realize that I am not strong enough to do what you do.
    -Russell
  7. by   CraftyLPN
    I know...it's hard not to when your with these lil guys 7days a week... This last funeral was exteremly hard.. (don't get me wrong here..) I think I grieved more for the family than the child..
    The child spent so much time in the hospital than at home...

    Just out of curiosity, how many ppl have you seen that have been prepared for a funeral that actually had a smile on their face , that was NOT forced?
    This child had a smile...she actually looked like she was finally at peace. The parents and I still stay in contact....
    I feel for them..I can't even imagine losing my daughter.
  8. by   almostanurse
    Thats a hard thing to deal with. I guess you have to find a middle area. you want to show empathy, but also as one wise women said to me......"show them that you care, but girl dont you go sobbing uncontrolably, you are there to comfort them, and if the family member says are you ok? do you need something to drink, do you need to sit down? then you have gone to far. "
  9. by   CraftyLPN
    ALMOSTANURSE
    I definetly agree. I did the hard crying at home....Stayed strong for the family...asked them to call if they ever needed me
  10. by   ?burntout
    I admire you for working with these children.......:kiss

    Grieve with them-let them know how much their child meant to you...
    Send them a card 1-3 months down the line after their loss...so they will know that they nor their child have not been forgotten..
    Offer to keep them in your thoughts/prayers.....

    Having lost my 12 day old son almost 4 months ago, this unfortunately is my "new" life.....

    Hope this helps......
  11. by   almostanurse
    Im so sorry burntout, no one should have to go through that. I dont know what to say except im sorry
  12. by   mark_LD_RN
    it is very diffucult job you do,and youdeserve a lot of praise for doing it. I have seen enough die and it never gets any easier. Iget very attached to my patients. IMHO if you are anurse that does not get attached you are not the best nurse youcan be.

    i try to get pastorial and social services involved, i encourage and help them through the greiving process. and cry right along with them usually. I try to be as strong as Icanfor my patients.

    but always remember save some for your self, or you may burn out and not be any good to those who desperately need you andnurses like you.

    may good bless you for the work you do
  13. by   tattooednursie
    I have posted a simmalar thread asking advice on how to deal with the families of the death of a loved one. I have never had a child die on me because I work with the elderly, but the advice that I got is that you do not have to be all stern and cold hearted appearing to the family. You can greive with them, and don't let anyone tell you that you can't!

    I always cry when some one passes away on my shift, or even when I am comming on shift and I get the news that some one had died.

    Just because you are a nurse, dosent mean that you don't have feelings too. You have the right to cry with the family, and some times it is the best thing to do. Just think if you had a child who was dying, or had just died, would you rather have a nurse with you that seemed to just blow everything off and not really care, or would you rather have some one who would sit down and cry with you. I always treat the families how I would want to be treated in their situation.
  14. by   mark_LD_RN
    Originally posted by FutureRN_Mandi

    I always treat the families how I would want to be treated in their situation.
    Exactly, that is what i base all my care on.how would i want to be treated or how would i want my wife or kids treated. it has always worked well for me

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