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Studies have shown that children's death is more tragic than the middle age children (Rosen, 2020). Parents who lost children compared to the spouse's loss had more intense grief, depression, somatic types, anger, guilt, and despair. The loss of children renders the parents vulnerable ( Rosen, 2020). Additionally, such children usually have just started their lives, and their loss cuts their dreams and the hope of their parents. Some parents who believe in life after death usually long for their death to unite with the child (Hutti & Limbo, 2019). Middle-aged adults have generally lived part of their life and accomplished some of their dreams, and their death may not cause psychological symptoms and depression to the parents for long.
Chronically ill Child Compared to Sudden Death of an Adult
If the child has a chronic illness and the adult experiences a sudden death, the pain of the adult's loss is more painful since it was unexpected. For the child with a chronic illness, their death is usually expected, and it may not cause sudden grief. (Hutti & Limbo, 2019). Even though death is unwanted, the realization that there are few days for the child gives the parents comfort and hopes to spend the remaining days with the child as they provide a quality life. Death of any child, whether sudden or chronic illness, affects the parents.
Actions to take when Parents Lose a Child
The grieving process is essential for any loss. Adequate time should be given to the child's parents to grieve to avoid adverse mental and psychological effects associated with the loss (Rosen, 2020). Parents rely on the support of the healthcare professional for help during the time of grief. The parents should be given adequate time with the child’s body. Dressing the child, removing the medical devices, and applying oil to their bodies can help the parents create good memories. The nurses should be there for the parents. They should offer emotional support. The nurse can talk to the parent, express their condolences, and encourage them to talk about the memories with the child.
Communicating to the parents
The healthcare provider should always communicate effectively with the parents. They should say sorry to the parents, describe the memories with the child, and encourage the parent to do so. The nurse should communicate the last offices done to the child. In breaking the news, the healthcare providers should allow the parents of the child to cry if they need to. They should also offer open-ended support(Hutti & Limbo, 2019). The nurse should let them be there for them if need be. Receiving a letter, a phone call from the healthcare team shows that the child is remembered and encourages them.
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