Walking Through the Valley of Grief: How to Effectively Support Bereaved Parents

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Mossey, Laurie
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The death of a child is recognized as one of the most catastrophic, painful, devastating, and intense forms of grief. The loss of a child has a significant impact on parents and is often associated with poor psychological and physical outcomes. Even though there is available literature on this topic, it seems that most people lack an understanding exactly how profound the bereavement process is for parents. Unfortunately, there is also limited research on what is most helpful to support bereaved parents because of the sensitivity of the subject. The aim of this capstone is to examine available and relevant information that can be shared with community members who are working with bereaved parents or those who wish to. Moreover, the hope is that the information gathered will strengthen the ability to support bereaved parents in ways that optimize their adjustment process. The research for this capstone explores grief and how bereaved parents experience it to gain a better understanding of the grieving process. The research also attempts to gain a better understanding of some of the more modern grief models Finally, this research explores supportive interventions for bereaved parents. The following themes that were revealed in the literature that will be shared are: talking about the death, support from other bereaved parents, continuing bonds and meaning making.
child loss , parental bereavement , parental grief , adjustment to loss , acceptance of the death , meaning making , continuing bonds