Bereavement

The Bereavement Experience Journal is a collection of family voices exploring some of the thoughts, feelings, and challenges faced when a child dies. While each loss is unique, families describe common threads and themes. The journal represents the “collective wisdom” of parents, siblings and health care providers.

Please know that these stories and experiences describe very personal losses. While achingly beautiful, these expressions of family love may also feel quite intimate, and may provoke feelings of discomfort. Nonetheless, families have taught us that it is sharing in the stories of others facing similar experiences that can offer the most healing.

The hope of the Bereavement Experience Journal is to help families gain access to their own strengths and resiliencies–those that lie in the hearts and minds every child and family that faces adversity.

The Bereavement Experience Journal was the result of input from parent focus groups led by Dita Obler, Marsha Joselow, Kristen Dubois, and Johanna Black. This journal was created and reviewed by a group of parents and health care providers at Boston Children’s Hospital.

These stories contain emotionally powerful material; pacing yourself may be helpful. We welcome family members to enter and explore the following chapters:

Coping with bereavement responses may require consultation with trained mental health professionals. The information provided on this website is not intended as medical advice and should not be used as a substitute for seeking professional care if you have any questions concerning your medical or psychiatric health or the medical or psychiatric health of your child. This website is intended for parents and older adolescents, and contains candid discussions about the impact of childhood death. Young children should not view this site unless they have a parent or therapist present.