Wheatfield, Indiana (PressExposure) July 28, 2008 -- The topic of death and dying and children is a difficult topic to think about or discuss, yet parents and families with a terminally ill child need someone to turn to address these difficult issues. Now critical care pediatric nurse, Terri Forehand has created an online site called Heart Felt Words 4 Kids that not only provides a wealth of helpful resources for families coping with the stress, pain, and frustration of a terminally ill child, but also offers insight and guidance for discussing death and dying with children.
"I find when working with children with a terminal illness, that parents do not have enough resources to deal with the emotional side of the situation. We are good at giving them the medical and technical information, but we as a healthcare team, are not good at telling them it is ok to stop treatment. We are not good at saying "We have done everything we can, now go and love your child and hold him and then let him go." We are not good at failing and we look at death as failing instead of a natural part of life. So where do parents go for that kind of support? I try to give parents the resources and emotional support and an arena where it is okay to talk about death and dying issues especially with children." states Forehand.
She gives resources and book reviews along with tips to ease the pain of grief for children. The new website is more kid friendly. Here children experiencing grief or illness can click on KIDS WORDS and THEN SOME to add a comment or suggestion for other kids. They can also write a question about an illness or death and dying to be answered by the author who is a pediatric critical care nurse.
Ms. Forehand continues to work in the pediatric intensive care unit of The University of Chicago Comer's Children's hospital where she cares for children in all stages of illness. She is currently working on fiction for children and a book titled Career Diary of a Nurse.