Dealing with the Loss of a Child

Losing a child to death is a trauma unlike any other. Because the death of a child is an event outside the natural developmental continuum of life, nothing can fully prepare a parent for this loss.

In her compelling book, The Worst Loss: How Families Heal From the Death of a Child, Barbara Rosof describes what parents lose when a child dies. Parents can lose pieces of themselves, including the illusion that we can protect our children. Parents can also lose order in our universe, and feel like they’ve lost their future.

The loss of a child may be traumatic for the parents’ marriage. Parents may have difficulty supporting each other because the death of a child is profound for each of them.

Often, husbands and wives strive to be strong for each other, and they will sacrifice emotional intimacy to stay strong.

Parents may feel shared failure and helplessness, may blame outsiders in different ways, or may blame each other for a child’s death.

Different styles of communication and how parents express feelings may cause animosity and hurt. In good circumstances, it may draw the couple closer to each other.

Each parent needs time to heal and unique nurturing that will support their individual needs and personality. Parents need support from each other, but also  need care and support from people outside the marriage, too.

Special Resources For Parents Who Have Lost a Child

Support Groups

We offer a variety of support groups to parents who have lost a child. Support group sessions usually last eight weeks.

Please call 801-585-9522 for information on dates and locations.

Compassionate Friends

The Compassionate Friends organization provide support to parents who have lost a child by any cause to death.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-561-9862.

Toll-free: 877-969-0010