Grief, loss and bereavement

Lesson powerpoint here

  • Ask students to complete a ‘sliding scale’ of loss in small groups. Ask them to envisage the types of losses they are likely to experience during a lifetime and scale them according to their severity.
  • Ask the small groups to discuss how they might respond to those losses. Talk about ways of dealing with loss that might be deemed constructive or destructive.
  • Ask students to come up with some ideas for how we should NOT respond to another person’s loss. Perhaps get them to write completely inappropriate ‘in deepest sympathy’ cards.
  • Discuss and turn discussion over to what might be considered appropriate ways of responding to loss and grief.
  • A piece of stimulus you could use during these exercises is Wilko Johnson’s experience of being diagnosed with terminal cancer

Kubler-Ross and 5 stages of grief.

  • Introduce students to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s 5 stages of grief, explained here.
  • Ask the students if they can identify which of the stages Wilko Johnson is at.
  • Play students Elizabeth Davidson’s description of the loss of her daughter, (also here) who was killed in a car crash. There is a transcript of it here. THIS CLIP IS VERY MOVING AND SOME STUDENTS MAY FIND IT UPSETTING.
  • Again, ask students to consider what stages of grief we hear in what Elizabeth Davidson has to say about her daughter.
  • Go back to the idea of how we ought to respond to grief, both our own and that of other people. Is there anything the students think should be added in the light of what they have heard from Wilko Johnson, Elizabeth Davidson or their own experiences?