Loss of Child (or Sibling)

When a Child has Died: For Parents and Siblings

The loss of a child is incredibly devastating to any parent and family. While the surviving child or teen must deal with the death of his or her sibling, he or she often also has to navigate how parents and other family members are managing. It can be difficult to find emotional support. Routines often change, and so does life as he or she once knew it.

Although these changes can be true after any loss, the death of a child seems to reverberate through a family like no other.daisy heart

Children and teens often express thoughts like these:

  • The house just seems so quiet now.
  • I don’t know how to talk with my parents, because they are having a really hard time.
  • I don’t want to make my mom feel worse by telling her how I feel.
  • I just don’t want to talk about it …and I try not to think about it!
  • What do I say when someone asks if I have sisters and brothers?

As a parent, you may have questions like these:

  • How will I ever survive this?
  • What do I do with my child’s room and belongings?
  • How do I help my other children?
  • How can I commemorate my child?
  • How can I support my partner when I am feeling so isolated and numb?
  • Will I ever be able to experience joy again?
Contact us to help you sort through some of these questions and more, at no cost.

The loss of a child is complicated. Navigating life afterwards is often a critical time to find support from a professional counselor—for your child or teen and for you.

While grief is a normal, healing emotion, experiencing it can be hard. Our oncology therapists, who are trained in grief and bereavement in adults, children and teens, can help explore each individual’s personal grief journey, using various strategies to make this experience more meaningful.

We can also talk with you as a parent or other adult in the child’s or teen’s life. We can help you better understand grief and give you strategies to help you cope with your child’s or teen’s loss.

How We Can Help

Listen & Support You, Your Child or Teen.

Individual or family bereavement counseling from skilled, caring oncology therapists can help you, your child or adolescent share stories, explore this unique grief journey, better understand the grief process, ease pain, and find meaning. We also discuss how to continue to feel connected to your child or sibling who has died and how to negotiate the two worlds—the world of grief and the “normal” world, separately and simultaneously. Make an appointment.

Make an Appointment

Teach & Support You.

Our oncology therapists can meet with you as the parent or caregiver to help you understand your child or teen’s behavior, stages of grief, and how your grief may impact your child. We can give you strategies to help you support your child or teen.

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What We Cover

We talk about the questions you, your child or teen may have about death or loss, explore the multitude of emotions that one can often experience, look at how life has changed, and discuss what life might look like in the future.

Options on how to talk to family and friends about grief are discussed, as well as how to deal with special occasions. We offer ideas on how you or your child or teen might continue to remember the child that has died.

For parents or caregivers, we can provide information on children’s grief, understanding behavior, and strategies that might be helpful to you in supporting your child or teen.


If you are affected by cancer, we invite you to connect with us—whether you're a patient, family member, or friend.