5 T’s of Bereavement First Aid

I had the honour of meeting my friend Ian today ; he was a chaplain at Addenbrooke’s Hospital for many years. We both volunteer at the Cambridge Cancer Help Centre and we usually exchange poignant and heartfelt stories that have bonded us . Today he told me an addition to some learning I had already got from him… he taught me about the five essential T’s of bereavement first aid that any of us can apply to help those who are newly grieving or bereft.

T. Time

T. Talking

T. Tears

T. Touch

T. Tea

He then enlightened me with the honour of the time he met the inspirational Elizabeth Kubler-Ross who gave his 5 T’s a twist !

She said they would have to be the 4 T’s and a C as the Americans only drink coffee and coke!

We meet people where they are at so I think we can adapt to that!

I also recall being taught that tears contain endorphins that help ease pain when swallowed / sniffed up as they often are in deep emotional crying. Best to cry it out,.. so we need to enable people to do that, in privacy, with dignity and with the 5 T’s.

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