A parent dies every 22 minutes in the UK, so it's time to teach children what death is
When Simon Smith lost his wife eight years ago to brain cancer, the experience was 'so quick and so brutal', he didn't have time to figure out how best to help his two daughters through their grief. the loss of their mother.
She fell ill so quickly that the family had no time for strategy. Instead, Betsy and Tilly, then just eight and six years old, touched bottom.
It was an unimaginable road to travel, managing shock, illness, death and loss.
"Nicky died within a month of being diagnosed," says Simon, 55, from Brighton.
"She, I, everyone around us was so confused by what was happening. We became instinctive. All the weight fell on the children.
They were fully present.' Betsy and Tilly helped Nicky with practical things; they dressed their mom, carried her up and down the stairs, helped feed her, and washed her face in her final days.
Simon recalls: “Looking back, we all agree now that it was a valuable and productive experience in helping the girls come to terms with the loss of their mother. So we didn't keep it a secret. "If you try to hide things from children, at best it can confuse them worse and at worst it can make them angry," he says.
“Shumë besojnë se ne nuk e trajtojmë mirë vdekjen në kulturën tonë; flasim me eufemizma, njerëzit ‘shkojnë’, ose ‘ndërrojnë jetë’. Është një batanije ngushëllimi që mund ta bëjë më të vështirë dhimbjen për fëmijët”, shton ai.
“Njerëzit u thoshin fëmijëve gjëra të tilla si: Ajo po ju shikon nga lart tani, nga një vend tjetër. Vajzat pyesnin: Ku? Ku është ai vend? Dhe nëse ajo është në gjendje të shikojë poshtë, atëherë pse nuk mund të vijë të vijë të më shohë nga këtu?
Njerëzit mendojnë se kjo është e dobishme, por nëse dikush nuk beson në të mbinatyrshmen, atëherë është e vështirë t`u paraqesësh të vërteta alternative fëmijëve”, thotë Simon.
Mesatarisht, 111 nxënës humbasin një prind çdo ditë në MB, por shkollat ??nuk kanë formalisht një lëndë për pikëllimin dhe dhimbjen.
John Adams, President of the National Funeral Directors Association – and thousands of others – believes more needs to be done to help children prepare for the death of loved ones before it happens, which is why he's leading a campaign to added "pain of loss" to the teaching curriculum.
More than 10,000 people have signed the online petition calling for appropriate bereavement education.