Child and the death

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Le Deuil (d’un proche) chez l’enfant


Enseignant : Mr F. AVESQUE

Année universitaire 2010/2011



I- The Bereavement---------------------------------------------------p.2

II- Stages in the mourning for the childand consequences----p.5

III- Ways to help---------------------------------------------------------p.7



If certain children escape this cruel fate that is the death of one of theirs, there are others than fate do not save. Preceded sometimes by a serious illness or arisen brutally following an accident or following a suicide, the death of a father, a mother,a brother, a sister or a grandparent, mades relative violence. It upsets the life of those who survive.
The death of a person loved during the childhood provoke a real trauma. The emotional drama which represents this disappearance leaves long-lasting and varied tracks which cannot nearly show their effects to more or less long term, both from the point of view of the physical health and of thepsychic balance and at the level of the social integration of the subject.

We underestimated for a long time the reality of the mourning for the child. The mourning for the adult was during long decades little taken into account, all the more that of the child which was little studied, we doubted even his psychological reality. It was partially connected to the fact that the distress of thechild is a little bit mysterious, because he has no words to communicate felt sound, his suffering. And when we have no words, we try to act them, to cross the words in acts, and the adult does not still succeed in decoding them. The expression of the mourning for the child shows itself differently from that of the adult, because the process of the mourning, itself evolutionary in the time, arises ona ground in constant change, without that there is for a long time of no stable balance.
At first, we shall try to define that is the mourning for the child, then secondly we shall speak about stages of the mourning for the child as well as the possible consequences of this event in the childhood and to the adulthood. And to finish we shall expose the various possible helping proposed to thechild.

I-The bereavement

a) Popular definition

The bereavement term is used to speak to be in mourning, mourning is synonymic of the action to be in mourning with the social implications which it supposes (clothing modifications, participation in the rites) and grievance indicates affects such the sorrow, the punishment and the pain partners in the loss. The mourning is thus a complexnotion, rich in sense.
Universal concept and common heritage of all the humanity, the mourning concerns all the human beings, all the ages, stemming from all the cultures and appartenants in all the social categories. The mourning, as the death is universal.

b) Psychoanalytical definition

The mourning is a situation of important loss into which plunges us the disappearance of a dear being,a liked person.

According to psychoanalytical paradigm, the mourning defines itself as a state of loss of a dear being coming along with distress and with moral pain, being able to pull a real depressive reaction and requiring an intrapsychique treatment, said " work of mourning " to be surmounted. S Freud begins in 1915 a study compared by the mourning and by the melancholic process (Mourningand melancholy, on 1917). Freud (1915) defines the mourning as " …, the reaction to the loss of a liked person or an abstraction come to its place as the homeland, the freedom, an ideal there, etc. ". In front of the recognition of the disappearance of the external object, the subject has to achieve certain work, work of mourning. We shall return in the last part there.

c) Processes of...
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