How To Support a Family Grieving the Loss of a Child

Kids Path Bereavement Counselor

 

  1. Don’t assume what the family needs, always ask. It’s important to remember that the family’s needs will change throughout the course of their grief, so ask frequently. 
  2. Offer to help with practical things such as running errands, child care for other children in the home, meal preparation, etc. 
  3. Give special attention to the other children in the family and remember that they are grieving too. Avoid telling them not to cry or not to upset the adults. 
  4. Be available to listen. Sometimes, all that is necessary is a squeeze of the hand, a hug or your presence. Accept whatever feelings are expressed. Do not say, “You shouldn’t feel like that.” 
  5. Remember that sometimes the family needs permission to be normal and not constantly talk about the child’s illness and his or her grief. Respect this need if a parent says, “I don’t want to talk about it right now.”