Loss of a Child

The loss of a child is devastating. Nothing can prepare you or other family members for when it actually happens. Parental grief has been described as being more intense than other grief. This is regardless of the age of the child.

You may have been providing care for months or even years. Often you would have cared for your child at home. This can be exhausting and emotionally draining. Some parents have also described it as a positive experience.

When your child has died, this caring role ends. It is a period of great change and conflicting emotions. Health care teams will no longer be as involved. This could include hospital staff. It could also include paediatric and palliative care teams. Bereavement services and other supports may be available to you. Your relationships with staff will change or will be lost.

Your other children can be deeply affected by loss and grief. They may display a wide range of emotions and behaviours. They may have difficulty with their grief. This can be especially true in light of the immense grief of the adults around them. Other members of the family, and friends, may feel a great loss. Many will want to help you but won’t know how. 

Support and advice for carers in Australia is available from Carer Gateway Australia at Freecall 1800 422 737. They can direct you to local supports and services, including counseling services. The Carers Australia website will have links to your State or Territory carers association.



Last updated 28 April 2020