601: Anticipatory Grief and Legacy Building: Hope and Help for Families Facing Terminal Illness
Gina Roes, M.A.
Inheritance of Hope
P.O. Box 90
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
Erica Sirrine, Ph.D.
1000 Longfellow Blvd.
Lakeland, FL 33801
One in 20 children will experience the death of one or both parents by the age of 15. Often referred to as “forgotten mourners,” many children and adolescents face family illness, death, and grief in isolation, while their emotions and grief reactions are overlooked by even the most well-intentioned adults, including helping professionals. When facing a terminal illness, all members of the family are impacted. This presentation will offer resources for the mental health professional and other helpers to assist clients facing terminal illness and their families by exploring anticipatory grief, legacy-building opportunities, and age-appropriate communication of illness and death. Attendees will leave with specific tools to offer families to include copyrighted handouts from Inheritance of Hope and anticipatory grief counseling interventions.
• Summarize the concepts of anticipatory grief and legacy building with individuals and families facing a terminal illness
• Develop creative legacy-building and anticipatory grief interventions for licensed mental health professionals for children, adolescents, adults, and families
• Identify common grief reactions and developmentally appropriate conversations about illness, death, and loss to promote healthy coping