A grief packet is given to every family who has experienced the death of a child at Children's Colorado. These packets include separate informational inserts for parents and for extended families that explain what to expect in the days and weeks after your child's death.
The grief packets also include information on:
- Community resources for grief support outside of Children's Colorado
- Local funeral homes and burial assistance
- Lists of books and websites regarding the death of a child
These packets are designed to be the first step in supporting your family throughout the grieving process.
A bereavement coordinator is available to answer questions and provide support throughout this difficult time. The coordinator has current information regarding supportive services at Children's Colorado, community groups and professional counselors. The coordinator can also assist you in researching support and assistance in your hometown in Colorado or out of state.
Please call the bereavement coordinator at 720-777-6978 for more information.
Nine-week grief support groups
Many parents find comfort knowing they are not alone in their grief. There can be a sense of peace and healing when parents who have had a child die come together. Nine-week grief support groups are held twice a year at Children's Colorado, where bereaved parents learn about the grief process and its impact on the "new normal" of their life. A sibling support group is also held, depending upon the number of siblings interested in participating.
Ongoing "Healing Hearts" support group
Making and continuing supportive relationships with other bereaved parents can be very healing. That's why we hold drop-in monthly support groups, where bereaved parents can discuss their grief, feelings and experiences – with the hope that the families in attendance will be able to build life-long connections and find support and understanding with one another.
The groups are held on the third Wednesday of the month in the Mt. Bross conference room on the third floor of Children's Colorado on Anschutz Medical Campus. Any parent can drop in to group at any point and participate.
Special Children, Special Grief
"Special Children, Special Grief" is a support group for families who have lost a child with special needs. The group meets monthly at Children's Colorado, and parents can connect with others who understand the sense of loss that comes with losing a child with special needs.
If you know of someone who might benefit from being connected to this group, whether in person or via a teleconferencing solution, please contact Beth Bennett at Elizabeth.Bennett@childrenscolorado.org or Sarah McSwegin at Sarah.McSwegin@childrenscolorado.org.
Interested families can also request to join the group's Facebook page or call 720-777-6869.
Photo album workshops
Photographs record precious memories. When a child passes away, those photos become even more precious. A few times per year we offer a Saturday workshop where you can build a photo album in a supportive atmosphere with other bereaved parents. No experience is necessary. We provide the supplies and the guidance to help you build a beautiful memory.
Teen video group
Each summer, a nine-week group is held for teens and young adults who have had a sibling die. Teen parents who have lost a small child are also welcome. Over the nine weeks, participants create videos with their loved one in mind. Technical aspects of video creation include recording footage, downloading and editing the video a digital DVD format. This group may help bring relief to grief when words fail.
A time to remember
Each year at Children's Colorado, we remember children who have passed that year. We do this by offering a time for you, your family and the staff of Children's Colorado to come together. We have music, special readings, an activity for brothers and sisters and a special gift for you in memory of your child. Typically, the service is held on a weekend, which affords time for travel. It can be a meaningful time for your family and friends to share and remember your child.
Fall grief conference
Each year, the bereavement program sponsors a family conference to discuss topics related to grief and loss. This is a time to reconnect with other families you may have met through your experience at Children's Colorado and to meet new families in situations similar to your own, while exploring the topic of grief.
During this event, speakers and other bereaved parents speak about grief issues unique to the death of a child. Movies and other media may also be shared with participants as a way to begin conversation and build connection between families. This evening includes an activity for school-aged children and child care for little ones.
We have many books and pamphlets available regarding the unique death of a child and the grieving process that follows. We have books available that address infant and child death, sibling grief, the unique grief of teenagers, how to handle differences in grief, as well as how to plan for holidays without your child.
This unique library can be accessed by connecting with the bereavement coordinator at 720-777-6978.
In the Presence of Light
Every December, our bereavement program offers an evening event entitled "In the Presence of Light." The evening involves poetry reading and ceremonial candle lighting in remembrance of your child. This is a chance to meet with other bereaved parents and to support each other during what can be a very difficult time of year.
Sibling Day Camp
Our Sibling Day Camp is a half-day program for children ages 6-12 who have experienced the death of a sibling. The program gives these children the chance to come together and process their grief through directed activities and art. The day is designed to encourage siblings to talk about their difficult feelings related to grief and to connect with other children who have had similar experiences.