• Support for Parents

Grief Support for Parents


If you are a parent grieving the death of a child, having to deal with all the emotions, difficult questions, doubts and fears can feel overwhelming. The help and encouragement of others, especially from others who have been there, can be therapeutic. A supportive group can help mothers and fathers process their loss, and work on healing.

Helping yourself grieve

As much as it hurts, it is natural and normal to grieve. You may find the following suggestions helpful while grieving:

  • Talk about your child often and use his or her name.

  • Ask family and friends for help with housework, errands, and caring for other children. This will give you important time to think, remember, and grieve.

  • Take time deciding what to do with your child's belongings. Don’t rush to pack up your child's room or to give away toys and clothes.

  • Prepare ahead of time for how to respond to difficult questions like, "How many children do you have?" or comments like, "At least you have other children." Remember that people aren't trying to hurt you; they just don't know what to say.

  • Prepare for how you want to spend significant days, such as your child's birthday or the anniversary of your child's death. You may want to spend the day looking at photos and sharing memories or start a family tradition, such as planting flowers.

  • Because of the intensity and isolation of parental grief, parents may especially benefit from a support group where they can share their experiences with other parents who understand their grief and can offer hope.