love and support | 

Singer Cat Power sends 'love' to Sinead O’Connor as she mourns son's tragic death

She also asked people to avoid 'religious platitudes' like, ‘it’s part of God’s plan’ or ‘he’s in a better place’
(L) Sinead with son Shane (R) Cat Power

(L) Sinead with son Shane (R) Cat Power

Clodagh Meaney

Singer Cat Power has sent her love to Sinead O’Connor as she mourns the death of her 17-year-old son Shane.

Taking to social media, the American singer also shared how she thinks you can best help people who have been bereaved by suicide.

“Sending love and support to @oconnor.sinead for the loss of her 17 year-old son Shane, who took his life last week after struggling with his mental health over the years,” he tribute began.

“While we grieve for Sinead and her family, we also want to offer some guidance for those of us who have had to manage similarly horrific losses.”

“One of the most difficult experiences for survivors is when friends and family are unwilling or don’t know how to support them through their grieving, according to Dr. Sherry Cormier, psychologist and bereavement trauma specialist.”

“Instead of turning away, you can reach out and strengthen the relationship,” she wrote.

“Offer to take on tasks for them,” Cat said.

“With a sudden loss, the bereaved find themselves immediately inundated with new and mounting responsibilities. Say: ‘I’d love to help. Does anything occur to you that may be useful?’

“Continue reaching out,” she said.

“Consider reaching out regularly and simply saying ‘thinking of you.’”

“Often those who are grieving receive a flurry of attention immediately but then it drops off rapidly as time passes,” she explained before encouraging people to listen more than they talk.

“It can be beneficial to simply sit with those who are mourning and allow them to cry without feeling you have to say the exact right thing to lessen their pain.”

Cat also added: “Choose your words carefully and avoid trite statements that feel minimizing.”

“Phrases to avoid, include: You’re so strong, You have so much to be thankful for, and everything will be OK.”

She also asked people to avoid “religious platitudes like, ‘it’s part of God’s plan’ or ‘he’s in a better place.’”

“Dr. Doreen Marshall, a psychologist with the @afspnational advises against inquiring about the exact circumstances of the death, instead addressing the loved one's name, inquiring about their life, and sharing joyful recollections together.”

Earlier this week, Sinead said she would never be able to “forgive the Irish state” as her son died after going missing from Tallaght hospital.

I have now formally identified the remains of my son, Shane,” she wrote. “May God forgive the Irish State for I never will.”

Now Tusla want to discuss with me ‘a media release’ no doubt wishing to have me join in their efforts to make this death of my child seem like it wasn’t at the hands of the Irish State."

She added: “Refusals to accept responsibility. Couched as always in the omnipotent and false concern they claim to have for the privacy of the children who die on their watch.”

In another tweet, Sinead said she was "going to take private time now to grieve” her son.

Announcing his death, she said: "My beautiful son, Nevi'im Nesta Ali Shane O'Connor, the very light of my life, decided to end his earthly struggle today and is now with God.

"May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example. My baby. I love you so much. Please be at peace."

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this article, contact the Samaritans on 116 123; Pieta House on 1800 247 247 or text HELLO to 50808, a free 24/7 text support service for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis.

Today's Headlines

More Irish Showbiz

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices