Playground in the sky
Walter (2017), suggested that through the sociological understandings and concepts around death, there is now an element of “death entrepreneurs” detailing how an individual should and should not grieve, celebrate and remember an individual’s life. Furthermore, Walter argues that with a rise in individuals raising awareness of all types of bereavement care or palliative. It urges individuals to take control of their own deaths. A Stillbirth is when a baby is born dead after 24 weeks’ gestation (Anon. 2018). 1 in 200 babies are born still in England and Wales (Anon. 2018). Death is a natural biological ending to human life. Although this is the natural end and is inevitable it has been argued that we are reluctant to remind ourselves of this outcome . 4% of children suffer the loss of a sibling before the age of 18 (Penfold 2005). Kliegman (2015) states toddlers, aged three and younger, have been seen to have little or no understanding of death. However, Kliegman states that their reactions are based from a response to observing distress in others, as observed by Bandura (1977). On the other hand, a toddlers understanding is very little as a child under two does not fully understand the what is meant by gaining a sibling. However, copy emotions seen by other around. Additionally, a child aged between 2-4 may feel threatened by the idea of gaining a sibling. It could therefore be suggested that the child is going through their own cycle of grief (Anon. 2007). Moreover, the child can see the physical changes with the developing pregnancy therefore, understand the pregnancy. When related to the stillbirth of an unborn baby, the toddler has formed an immature attachment with their sibling. Therefore, Kliegman (2015) would argue that their understanding is further developed than the average toddler’s developmental stage.
Playground in the sky, uses a humanistic approach to explain the loss of a sibling to a younger child. The book has created versatility as it can be tailored to the child’s individual needs. In July 2017, when Alfie was stillborn at 34+ 5 weeks. I had to explain to my older children three- years-old and two- years-old that after months of excitement, preparation they would not get to meet or hold their brother. Furthermore, ensure that their brothers memory was not full of sorrow but full of happiness and excitement within the playground. There are currently books available however, there were none available to cater for my children’s age. There is also a wide gap within the market for children who have lost a sibling. This is when the book was developed. The story is based around a simplistic poem that is diverse and can be used within many cultural and religious settings. Furthermore, the book can create a connection though “Alfie Bear”. With support and further development, the book has been implements into a successful intervention used with children aged 7-11. Although their age is older than the original target age group, it can show the diversity and versatility of the recourse within an agency.