Your children and your community
Even when your child is very ill, they may want to find ways to take part in some of the activities that take place within different groups in their community. They may wish to visit a team or club just to see friends.
Your family probably belongs to many different groups in your community through school, clubs, sports teams, religious or cultural groups. Your child’s illness will affect their involvement and their siblings’ involvement in each of these groups. The members of these groups may have questions, concerns, and feelings of their own about your child’s illness.
Friends, neighbours and other parents at your child’s school will be concerned about your child. You may want to share different information with different people. School communities often have systems in place to do this. Some groups or clubs have email lists or “phone trees” but others do not.
It may be helpful to identify a “point person” in each group who can pass along any updates that you want to share. As with schools, it is up to you to decide what information you want to share, when and with whom. When a child dies, community members will want to know about plans for a funeral or memorial, and whether or not they are welcome to attend.
Involvement in these groups and activities may offer your other children comfort, familiarity, and consistency at a stressful time. But at other times they may want to take a break from these activities. Try to honour your children’s wishes. Think about whether it’s more important for them to continue with their activities or to spend time with your family. Use some of the same ideas about how to support children at school to help them with other activities.