Dear Woodlands Families:
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of one of our teachers, Carlie Ladner who passed away unexpectedly on August 3, 2020. Ms. Ladner was a beloved teacher and guidance counsellor at our school since 2010.
I encourage you to provide your child with an opportunity to discuss this death in terms of your personal family beliefs. Here are some ways you can help your child deal with their feelings and reactions:
- Acknowledge your child's grief and the emotional upset.
- Be available to your child. If you don't know the right thing to say, just listen. Acknowledge that we don't always have answers to why these things happen.
- Provide a reassuring environment in which your child feels comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings.
- Encourage your child to express their emotions in a way that's most comfortable for them. Some children are open about their feelings, while others prefer not to talk about them or may only want to talk to their peers.
- Understand that your child will go on social media. Discuss with your child to be mindful of their comments and their posts.
- Encourage your child to understand the risks of engaging in speculation and rumours verbally and online.
- Encourage your child to engage in self-care activities, for example, ensure they are eating nutritious meals, getting good sleep and engaging in some form of physical activity.
- Encourage your child to follow normal routines as much as possible.
- Acknowledge that your child may continue to feel the impact of Ms. Ladner's death for some time to come. Help your child understand that there's no time limit on grieving.
- Seek support from a medical practitioner, if necessary. In case of emergency please go directly to your closest hospital.
Be aware of signs that your child may need additional support to deal with this situation. Warning signs include: prolonged physical or psychological distress (lack of appetite, sudden weight gain, persistent aches and pains, prolonged anxious or sad feelings, apathy or lack of interest towards regular activities). If your child has recently experienced the loss of a family member or friend, Ms. Ladner's death may result in additional upset.
It is important to remember staff at the school are deeply affected by Ms. Ladner's death. It may help your child to know that staff are grieving with them.
Here is a list of community resources for further support:
Kids Help Phone Line: 1-800-668-6868 or text 686868 or www.kidshelpphone.ca
Peel Children's Centre Crisis Response: 24/7 Service 416-410-8615, www.WheretoStart.ca
Tangerine Counselling: www.tangerinewalkin.com
Distress Line Peel: 905-278-7208
Bereaved Families of Halton/Peel: www.bereavedfamilies.ca
The Lighthouse For Grieving Children: www.grievingchildrenlighthouse.org
Thank you for your support and understanding during this difficult time.
Be well and stay safe,
Ms. Kerry Everitt