EDUCATOR AND POSITIVE DISRUPTOR OF CURRENT IDEAOLOGY OF PARENTAL/SIBLING GRIEF
WITHIN THE PROFESSIONAL AND WIDER COMMUNITY
I consult with workplaces on a one-to-one basis or in innovative workshops to educate co -workers and employers on parental grief. We walk through anticipated situations and discuss the best response to ensure bereaved parents integrate back into the workplace with comfort, respect, understanding and dignity.
I have developed a program for teachers, junior and senior students of all ages to help understand the realities of sibling grief. Age appropriate and truly effective discussion to ensure as normal, caring, and supportive return of your child back into the classroom and school yard. This includes children with life changing conditions and siblings of children with life changing conditions or who are grieving.
I also offer advocacy for families so children with life changing conditions are not just accepted back into the school community but elevated and empowered to be themselves. It is critical children do not lose their own identity. Their whole life and identity, has been compromised too much already by medical staff and a myriad of strangers others who are in their life not by the child’s choice.
In school yards, many children with illness are avoided because other students don’t know how to approach them after their diagnosis or after being out of school for long periods with treatments.
I consult closely with you and your child to ensure their return to the school environment is done in a way which specifically reflects the messaging you and your child wish others to know. It is essential to ascertain what needs to be confidential and not for public consumption. Especially in school environments where gossip and innuendo can crush children and families. The importance of teachers understanding what is at stake here cannot be underestimated.
The precious goal of having your child happy, safe, accepted, included, and feeling more like themselves back in their class environment is pivotal.
All discussion points are approved first in conjunction with yourself, your child and teachers. Classroom awareness is strictly adapted to the age and level of students to ensure it is age appropriate and safe.
Consultations available by Zoom, phone or in person.
My philosophy includes engaging from a platform of the highest integrity and transparency with the focus entirely on you and your child.
An all engaging, captivating, and unforgettable public speaker who will transform life perspective from lived experience through the highest level of tragedy and survival. Jennifer provides a rare and thought provocative insight into the bereaved parent experience.
“Dear Jennifer, a small note to say a big thank you for sharing your story with us for the 2022 Australian Paediatric Palliative Care Conference. Your openness and honesty will strengthen our advocacy efforts in and around Paediatric Palliative Care. We appreciate your contribution. Warmest regards, PCA“
“We once again wanted to thank you the time and insights you shared with us about yours and Sam’s experience with healthcare, including Allied Health.
The workshop was held yesterday and was overall a success, but the section you contributed to was especially well received. The participants were truly touched by your words, your feelings and your advice, with many of the “gold nuggets” resonating strongly. It was an incredibly raw session – inspirational and yet grounding. Claire Radford“
You have the knowledge which is exactly right for you.
The shock and trauma after the death of your child, can make you feel like you have been thrown from this earth. Everything feels foreign and even small talk seems the most difficult
and exhausting of efforts. This must be lived on your terms, as often your
survival and self- preservation depends on doing just that! I promise to stay
with you as much or as little as what you need, to ensure you feel safe and free to stand strong and remain true in living and loving your child who continues to live right in your hearts.
The clarity, truth and wisdom of lived experience of the worst of tragedies is unique and life changing. Without this, in a shallow society, it can be challenging to live by what you genuinely know to be true. Often, we experience short bursts of motivation and self-belief before we succumb to stress, pressure and self-inflicted or external judgements. The cycle can be exhausting and seem impossible to break.
To really soar above, the way forward to live our truest lives is 100% within us. The whole source/guidance to your life was born when you were born. It is only specific to you. To connect with that, is when you become utterly free to live how you truly wish and achieve what you deeply desire. It is the only foundation which is solid. The power of that – once tapped into, is literally, transformative and solid to your life ahead.
Family relationships can be frustrating and hurtful even when times are comfortable and without trauma. The death of your child is an earthquake to your soul and whole being. It is off the Richter scale and just not of this earth. Often it is those who are closest, who are the ones who hear us the least, and this can cause immense pain and disbelief.
It feels as if everyone is stumbling blindly, just flailing around in what is the worst life tragedy. What they say and do is often enough to tip you to the edge.
A calm head and open hearts are needed for those close to you to really hear your needs and understand their role to support.
You want to be heard. You want to be respected and not judged. You want to be understood and free to continue to love your child. Without pushback. Without advice. Without preconceived expectations.
Empowerment is key. I can consult privately with you to clarify your messages and feelings in order to diffuse tensions for genuine listening and understanding to take place with family and friends.
ACTIVE ADVOCATE FOR FAMILIES TO FACILITATE QUALITY CARE FOR CHILDREN WITH LIFE CHANGING CONDITIONS
Hope is critical and must be preserved. No one has the right to damage that hope or influence it with their own perspective. You and your child are living under crushing pressure 24/7 – not anyone else around you. It is critical others take your lead in approaching each day to preserve hope and joy in every moment. It is a sacred and hard fought for space – No one has the permission to wrench that away from you.
An earth-shattering diagnosis of a child is far too big for a parent to absorb. Absorbing it doesn’t have to be the goal. You are moving through shock and holding your family together when you are torn apart inside. You need to be empowered, preserve hope, and have others respect your wishes. Pity has no place, because advocating for your child makes you more powerful than ever.
For those not familiar with medical environments, they can be intimidating places. Often what you really want to say stays burning within you, instead of voiced. You already know at this stage, that your instincts are perfectly guiding all you do, even if it means challenging the status quo. What is right for your child and your family is paramount.
This will evolve depending on the situation. One wrong word (e.g., terminal) which can seem innocuous to others, can traumatise children and their families. How you have decided to manage this highly stressful situation must be honoured and preserved at every level. I can help you to take back the control when you feel like your life is being hijacked.
Not every child wants special treatment or a trip to Disneyland or anything good or bad which reminds them of their diagnosis. Children know exactly what they want. They have a heightened sense of wariness of anything over the top.
Many simply want their lives back and for people to treat them for who they are – they are LIVING with this illness, not dying from it.