Children's Hospital Colorado
Grief and Bereavement Services at Children's Hospital Colorado

Grief and Bereavement Services at Children's Hospital Colorado

Losing a child is a terrible tragedy. We offer bereavement services and resources for families coping with death.

Call

Contact us

720-777-6978

The Colors of Healing is a program at Children's Hospital Colorado offering family-centered bereavement services. Through this program, we support your grieving family through a variety of gatherings and resource information.

The intent of The Colors of Healing bereavement services is to connect you with others who are also grieving and provide the opportunity to learn about the wide range of feelings and emotions associated with grief. The groups and programs provide an opportunity for families to meet one another for support and understanding. There is solidarity in grief that can be experienced as one family meets another.

The Colors of Healing is a program within the Spiritual Care Department at Children's Colorado. Learn more about the Spiritual Care Department. Please contact the bereavement coordinator at 720-777-6978 for further information on any of these topics or for support.

Grief packets

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.

Bereavement coordinator

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.

Library services

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.

Our collection of bereavement videos aims to help parents navigate their grief after the loss of a child. These bereavement videos were created by bereaved parents for bereaved parents and they illustrate the different grief experiences of a mother, a father and a sibling in the hopes of illuminating the different ways we all grieve.

We encourage parents and siblings to turn to these videos when:

  • They need a reminder that they're not alone
  • They don't have the right words to say
  • They want family, friends and loved ones to understand their grief

In the following videos, two bereaved parents share their stories of loss:

Bereavement videos to watch online

A Mother's Grief: Rachael's Hero

This video provides an intimate look at a mother’s grief with the hope that bereaved mothers can find solidarity in knowing that they’re not alone.

A Father's Grief: Choosing Compassion

This video shows how the loss of his son affects a father over time. A dad shares his experience of losing a child and the wisdom he gained that helped him manage his grief and anger.

Bereavement videos to watch at home

We understand that it's hard to talk about losing a child, which is why we created these video resources to help when you can't find the right words to say. We hope bereaved parents can turn to these video resources to help their family, friends and loved ones understand their grief experience.

The following videos are available in digital and DVD formats at no cost to parents.

Grieving Cover.jpg

Grieving and Hope: Living With the Death of Your Child

This video aims to lessen the isolation felt by parents who have had a child die: isolation from the world of non-bereaved parents, isolation from family and isolation from friends.

 

Journey Cover.jpg

A Dad's Journey Through Grief

This film was made by bereaved fathers for bereaved fathers. Bereaved families can show "A Dad's Journey Through Grief" to encourage their family members' and friends' understanding of a father's grief, as well as offer women insight into a male's experience.

 

Tender Healing Cover.jpg

Tender Healing: A Sibling's Journey Through Grief

This video is for children of all ages who have suffered the loss of a sibling. It offers a glimpse into the often-overlooked perspective of grieving children with the hope that they will realize they are not alone. This short film can be a resource to help parents recognize and understand the fears, confusion and grieving behaviors of their surviving children.

How to order bereavement films

Parents can gain access to these free bereavement videos by calling 720-777-6978.

If you'd like digital access to one or more of these videos, please leave a message with your name, phone number, email address and which videos you would like.

If you'd like to order DVD copies of the bereavement videos for at-home use, leave a message with your name, address and phone number. We will mail your requested videos as soon as possible.

We also offer these three bereavement videos to health professionals for the minimal cost of $10. To order, please print and send in the order form (.PDF), along with payment.

AGAST – Alliance of Grandparents, a Support in Tragedy
Online newsletter and forum for bereaved grandparents
Phone: 1-888-774-7437

Alive & Alone
Quarterly newsletter for parents whose only, or all, children have died

American Association of Suicidology
Information regarding suicide with links to further sites regarding depression
Phone: 202-237-2280

Boulden Publications
Materials to help adults discuss difficult subjects, such as death, with children
Phone: 1-800-238-8433

Center for Loss and Life Transition
Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., Center Director provides training for professionals and volunteers including literature on grief/loss and an online library with many articles on grief
Phone: 970-226-6050

Center for Loss in Multiple Birth
Support and information for parents who have experienced the death of one or more, both or all twins or higher multiples at any time from conception through birth, infancy and childhood

Centering Corporation
Comprehensive site for literature on grief and difficult life situations; many good items for and about children
Phone: 866-218-0101

Compassionate Friends
National self-help group run by bereaved parents with many local chapters; websites offer various "chat" opportunities
Phone: 1-877-969-0010 (Colorado Chapter)

Crisis, Grief & Healing
Led by Tom Golden, LCSW, this website offers chats for men and women, articles regarding grief, and links to many other related sites

The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families
A national center for grieving children that offers information, education and support
Phone: 503-775-5683

Fernside
Website includes ideas/activities to assist children and teens with grieving
Phone: 513-745-0111

GriefNet
Internet community of 30+ e-mail support groups; bibliographies available; has companion site for kids: KIDSAID.

Healing Hearts
Website for bereaved parents and grandparents; can make pen-pal connections

MISS Foundation (Mothers in Sympathy and Support)
Supportive information for parents who have experienced stillbirth, infant or toddler death

Open to Hope Foundation
Resources for many types of loss; access to a weekly internet radio talk show, "Healing the Grieving Heart"

Parents of Murdered Children
For families and friends of those who have died by violence
Phone: 1-888-818-POMC

SHARE
Good resource for information and support regarding infant and neonatal loss with chat opportunities
Phone: 1-800-821-6819

The Sibling Connection
Articles and newsletters about sibling loss with information about age-appropriate responses to death

Twinless Twins Support Group
Resources for families who have experienced the death of a twin
Phone: 1-888-205-8962

PRODWEBSERVER1