Following the loss of a loved one, many people may find that they may need emotional, practical and/or financial support. Everyone may cope differently, for example some people may withdraw from their friends and family while others may rely on outside support available to them. It's important to recognise that there is no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a child.
The Childhood Cancer Association has a variety of services available to families to assist them to cope with the loss of their loved one.
The loss of a child can leave families in need of financial assistance, particularly with regards to the unexpected costs of a funeral. We are able offer some financial assistance to help with the cost of your child’s funeral. For more information about this please speak with the Family Service team or your WCH Social Worker.
Bereavement counselling may be able to assist to support you and your family following the loss of a loved one.
Counselling is available to all members of the family, including parents/caregivers, siblings, grandparents and other people who were involved in the direct care of the child who died.
For further information, please refer to the Counselling page. To book an appointment please contact the Family Service team on (08) 8239 2211.
Bradley's Place, our respite accommodation, continues to be available to families who have lost a child to cancer, providing an important space for the family to take time out and be together. Some families find it beneficial to stay at the accommodation during and around important dates and anniversaries or memorials. Please note, some conditions do apply.
For further information, please refer to the Accommodation page.
The Childhood Cancer Association has a range of support groups available to families to assist them with the grieving process.
Bereaved Parents Support Group
The death of a child can be one of the most challenging life experiences a parent has to face. Particular challenges may include adapting to life without their child, reintegration into the community (e.g. recommencing work) and continuing to care for other children and assisting them with their grief.
Parents report that it can sometimes be difficult to discuss how they are feeling about/coping with the loss of their child with their family and other people from their broader social networks.
The Bereaved Parents Support Group recognises that it can be beneficial to connect with other adults who have faced a similar situation. Parents meet throughout the year with others who understand and share the grief of losing their own child through cancer, to connect, share stories and to explore feelings around their loss. The support group is facilitated by the Family Service Counsellors and run several times throughout the year. The group may also meet in a variety of different ways, for example: special events may include, Christmas functions, memory days or special forums if families would like specific topics addressed.
Bereaved Grandparents Group
When a grandparent loses a grandchild to cancer they are faced with the unique situation of not only coping with their own grief, but also with supporting and assisting their child and other family members. Their role is often unique in that they often provide important support in many areas of family life.
The Bereaved Grandparents group is designed for grandparents who have experienced the death of a grandchild from cancer, enabling them to share and explore their feelings of grief. This is an informal group facilitated by the Family Service Counsellors. The group meets bi-monthly, for a morning tea held at the Childhood Cancer Association office and occasionally at alternative locations around Adelaide for special outings, i.e. a Christmas luncheon.
Special Families Day
This is an event for all family members (e.g. parents/caregivers, siblings, grandparents and others involved in the direct care of the child) to get together and celebrate the life of the child who has passed. It provides families with an opportunity to meet others who have also experienced the loss of a child to cancer.
The day includes fun and memory making activities, lunch and a special balloon release to remember the children who have died.
Other Special Events
Throughout the year we are also very fortunate that through the generosity of our many supporters, we sometimes receive complimentary tickets for families to attend events, concerts and sporting matches in Adelaide. We endeavour to distribute any tickets in a fair manner based on the needs of our families at that particular time.
The first 48 hours: after your child died
The booklet, The First 48 hours: after your child died, contains information for families, friends and support networks to get you through the first 48 hours and also contains information about how to access support in the longer term.
For further information about any of these support services, please contact the Family Service team on (08) 8239 2211 or via the Contact Us page.