A pupil returns to school following the death of her father, and she has a meeting with her Mum and teacher; she decides to tell a few close friends about the death. A few months later, the pupil seems rather isolated and nobody at school ever mentions her Dad.
- It can be very difficult for a bereaved pupil to develop an enduring connection with the person who died if this person is never mentioned or acknowledged.
- Peers may not know what to say to a bereaved friend, and they may struggle with the fluctuating emotions which they may be witnessing.
- For this pupil, the upheaval of bereavement may still feel be fresh and raw; their friends may not realise the impact of the death on their friend.
What might help:
- A simple acknowledgement can be important for a bereaved pupil, “What sort of things did your Dad like?”
- Ask the pupil about their friends, school work or life at home to find out how they are managing their grief.
- Seek their permission to talk to the friendship group and discuss any issues which may have arisen since the bereavement.
- Check in with a pupil regularly. Your questions may make them feel upset or angry and they may not wish to talk to you at that time, but they will know that you are someone who is there for them.