Every year in the UK, hundreds of people die suddenly, leaving families devastated. Disasters such as road accidents, murder, suicide, heart attack and other fatal illnesses can affect anyone.
Bereavement is a difficult subject and the sad reality is that in the UK a parent of a dependent child will die every 22 minutes, leaving 41,000 children without a parent each year. In addition to this, currently in the UK 309,000 children aged between five and 16 years old have been bereaved of a parent or sibling.
If tragedy were to strike and you lost your partner, your parents (your child's grandparents), one of your children (your child's sibling), or your child suddenly lost a school friend how would you cope? How would you ensure that both your own grief and that of your child was handled effectively? Perhaps you're a godparent or a named guardian in a friend's will - how would you cope if you found yourself caring for a child who'd been suddenly bereaved? Where would you turn?
The Co-operative Funeral Care have partnered with CHUMS (the Child Bereavement, Trauma and Emotional Wellbeing Service) to offer the a number of films as a free resource to local schools, medical professionals, community groups and bereaved families. The four animated films include ‘Our Year Since Dad Died’ and ‘Our Year Since Grandma Died’ and look at issues young people face when losing a parent or grandparent.
The launch follows on from the success of The Co-operative Funeralcare’s Amy and Tom books, which are a tool for bereaved primary school children and distributed free to over 25,000 family liaison officers, schools, bereaved families and medical professionals across the country.
The tools deal practically with an array of issues a child may face including:
- Disbelief and denial
- Managing new and strong feelings
- Dealing with the 'why' questions
- Explaining the role of A&E and the emergency services and how and why they may not have been able to save the person
- Coping with the trauma of witnessing the death or incident
- Survivor guilt
- What happens with organ donation
- Dealing with whether to see the body
- What happens at a funeral
- What happens after death
- Fear that others will die
The Co-operative Funeralcare is the only organisation in the UK to make the animated films available free of charge to key people and organisations in a position to support bereaved children such as teachers, medical professionals and community leaders.
The short animated films have been produced by Angel Studios and are available for free on request from The Co-operative Funeralcare in your local area.
Disclosure: This post has been written in association with The Co-operative Funeralcare.