That attending the Funeral Services Association of Canada annual conference in Mt. Tremblant, Quebec would be a fabulous and fun event?
I somehow did not imagine that a room full of funeral professionals would be so full of laughter, kindness and caring. Perhaps I thought that hospice palliative care events held the ownership on such fun.
I was in attendance to launch the Loss Grief and Growth (LGG) resource. This project was spearheaded by a visionary man, Yves Berthieume (handsome man in the photo) who knew firsthand the value of teacher student relationships.
Yves was a child when his father died, and was blessed by teachers who cared, advocated, and encouraged him. Years later as a Funeral Director, he provided tours of the funeral home for the schools. The tours became a favorite among both students and teachers. When teachers repeatedly asked him,
“How do I support grieving students?”
He realized he wanted to address their needs, and the Loss Grief and Growth Project was born.
Initially developed as curriculum, Curriculum Services Canada advised that it be written as a supplementary resource for teachers to integrate as appropriate. The resource provides ideas for proactive lessons to help students understand loss and grief, death, as well as ideas to respond when a death has occurred in the school community.
The funeral associations, both national and Ontario based, who have supported this project over the past decade, have a deep commitment to children.
I applaud them for their commitment, and hope that as the project lead we can get this document in the hands of teachers across the country.
I’ve heard it said that,
“Death neither obeys the school timetable nor appears on it… it enters the classroom without knocking.”
The Loss Grief and Growth Project can help teachers prepare and support students.
PS: The document will be posted, with the Curriculum Services Canada Seal of Quality on their website in the coming week. It can be downloaded free of charge.