Frontline Workers Need Time to Grieve too!

Hello Frontliners,

Well it been two weeks that one of my students passed away.

It was definitely hard for me, more so living in a small community where you see your students everyday and everywhere: shopping centre, walking, school, gym, and arena. When I heard the news, the emotions I felt were intense. The connection was deep. The energy within the community was vibrating.

Despite all what was happening on that day, reflecting during my spring break two weeks later, I wish that I was given more time to grieve. Instead, with the nature of our field being so resilient and strong, we are expected to acknowledge what happened, cry for a few hours, and get back on the floor to perform.

I have mixed feelings about this….

On the one hand, I feel like we need to take action to ensure the students understand that we are here for them through the grieving process. If we prolong acknowledging the initial grieving stage, I believe we are not preventing early signs of triggering emotions other students might be experiencing. So, frontline workers need to be there to respond.

On the other hand, how effective is a frontliners’ duties when we are not having the time to grieve and reflect?

Reflection on the memories and interactions we had with this young person.

Reflection on the impact the young person had on the community

Reflection on our own practice

Then one might ask: what is the best timeline for a frontliner to grieve before being available for other young people in need? I am not sure, to be honest, but I do not think it should be a couple of hours.

During that emotional day and the whole week, It was go go go…NO Regrets, I had the opportunity to talk to many young people and I felt our connections and bonds were much closer. However, through all that, after two weeks of his tragic death, I now have the opportunity to sit with my thoughts and truly reflect.

Just wish it happened sooner.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Marleigh

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