- Helping People Through the Grieving Process
- Tutor: Riina Raudne
With my thesis, I wanted to explore ways to help people through the grieving process. Through research, I narrowed the topic down to communication within the family and grief after death from a terminal illness. More specifically, I focused on the communication between the family and the patient at the end of life and explored ways to use the remaining time in a way that could ease the grieving process.
In the case of a terminal illness, there is a brief opportunity to express love, appreciation, regret, and whatever else needs to be expressed to a loved one to create a sense of closure. However, as a society, we tend to avoid talking about the topics of death, illness, and grief. So when the time comes that a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, people often don’t know how to process that, how to communicate with their loved one in a way that is beneficial to both of them, and often they miss that opportunity and go into the grieving process regretting the things they didn’t say.
My solution is an end of life activity that encourages people to explore their time spent together in a way that could bring a sense of peace and closure to the grieving process. It provides a starting point and structure for talking about memories, while co-creating tangible, visual representations of their memories that can be kept as keepsakes after the loved one’s death.
Ultimately, family members must go on living after the death, and in doing so, they remember the final conversations and encounters from the end of life period for months, if not years, to come. Therefore, contact with loved ones at the end of life has the greatest and most lasting impact.