When we hear the words “terminal illness” or “cancer”, most of us shiver and stop dead in our tracks. This could be due to stories we hear, memories we bear or the tears we fight. I like to compare this experience to the plants in a garden. In every garden there are flowers that are vibrant and healthy, other flowers that are less vibrant and dull, and dead flowers. The flowers represent the experience brought by the terminal illness. The nutrients and water represent the knowledge and information of what is going on regarding the illness. Therefore, the more you water and nourish the plant, the more beautiful the flower will grow.
In these series of blogs I aim to talk about and explore the famous debate of whether to let the child know what is going on or not. I am referring to the situation where someone loved in the family is sick and the child is not given any information as to what is going on.
Before we begin, an important point you must understand it that children are not oblivious; children sense, observe and note change.
They start noticing that something is going on and questions start arising. Why is mummy always in bed? Why is daddy not taking us out? Why can’t my brother play with me anymore? Why is my sister always crying?
We will look further into these questions and beyond in the next blog.
Danica Cassar is a third year psychology student at the University of Malta. Danica is the Triage Manager at Willingness.