Maintaining Identity is Important

Sarah Turner, Jeannette Littlemore, Eloise Parr, Julie Taylor

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The death of a child engenders complex emotions that are difficult to articulate, and bereaved parents often struggle to communicate how they feel to those who are there to support them. This means that it is often difficult to know what kind of funeral parents will find appropriate. A strong understanding of the emotional impact that this kind of bereavement has will help those working in the funeral industry to provide compassionate care.
In order to gain insights into the experience, we conducted a research study, funded by the True Colours Trust in which we sought to better understand the experience of the loss itself, and parents’ perceptions of the kind of communication they had with funeral professionals. We interviewed 24 bereaved parents in which we asked them about their experience of organising the funeral, the kind of funeral they had chosen for their child, what they wish they could have done or what could have happened, and their experience of communication with funeral professionals. The importance of the identity - of both the parent and the child- emerged as a recurring theme in our interviews. In this article, we discuss what this means and its implications for what they perceive to be a ‘good’ funeral and what they experience as empathic communication.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Specialist publicationSAIF Insight
PublisherConnect Publications
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2021


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