The loss of a child is devastating. Nothing can prepare you or other family members for when it actually happens. Knowing where to find help is important. 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. Your relationships with staff will change or will be lost.
Visit the Palliative Care Australia website for A Family Companion
Paediatric Palliative Care
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.
Bereavement services and other supports may be available to you. Resources such as the Paediatric Palliative care booklet or Carer supports can help you find the support you need.
Visit the Carer Gateway website for Support and advice for carers
Download the Compassionate Friends (SA) factsheet: Understanding Grief When a Child Dies (520kb pdf)
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Last updated 02 August 2021