Archbishop Pinder celebrates 15th anniversary
May 10, 2019
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May 10, 2019

When a child dies

Over the last few weeks in Trinidad, many parents have lost their children to chronic illness, accidents and senseless acts of violence. Image source: www.fatherly.com

By Dr Margaret Nakhid-Chatoor

In a conference room in Atlanta recently, the young doctoral student from Singapore asked the first question: What do you call a woman/man whose spouse has died? A widow/widower. Ok. Now what do you call children whose parents have died? Orphans. The third question was: What is the name given to parents whose child/children have died? There was no answer. 

She went on to discuss the trajectory of parental bereavement in that Asian country, the first study done of its kind and I thought, Singapore? That country is often cited as a high-income economy with a good reputation and strong global growth but there is the recognition and only recently, that more attention, monies and policies needed to be put in place for workers who have lost loved ones, especially their children, and to combat mental health issues such as depression which was directly related to one’s grief and loss.

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