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Resources for Parents and Families Who Have Lost a Child to Cancer

Many books, websites, and organizations provide information and support for adults who are dealing with the death of a child. There are also resources to help the other children in the family who have lost a brother or sister.

Some people may find it helpful to read how others experience loss and cope with painful feelings. Books and other reading materials can be excellent resources for those who are grieving. But everyone handles grief differently and it’s possible to find some resources more helpful than others.

The painful feelings that come with loss can be overwhelming, and some are able to read only a little bit at a time. If a resource doesn’t seem to be a good fit, look for others. Children’s librarians can be very helpful in locating appropriate reading materials for your family. And childhood cancer centers often have their own libraries for parents and other family members.

On the web*

The Compassionate Friends
Toll-free number: 1-877-969-0010
Website: www.compassionatefriends.org

    Support for parents and siblings who have lost children of any age and from any cause, in the form of brochures, electronic newsletters, local support groups, and phone support. Some chapters have groups for children 12 and older.

Telephone: 734-761-1960
Website for adults: www.griefnet.org
Website for children: http://kidsaid.com/

    Information on grief and bereavement; online and e-mail groups for adult grief support; separate supervised online support groups for children under 12 and for teens (with consent from parent or guardian)

The Dougy Center
Toll-free number: 1-866-775-5683
Website: www.dougy.org

    Information, books, DVDs, and online activities for grieving children, teens, young adults, and their families. They refer to programs across the country and around the world that serve to help children in grief. Some support groups offered, even for very young children.

Centering Corporation
Toll-free number: 1-866-218-0101
Website: www.centering.org

    Information, books, and many other resources on bereavement and loss for children and adults; also has materials in Spanish

Telephone: 513-246-9140
Website: www.fernside.org

    Offers phone support to parents and guardians with questions or concerns about the needs of grieving children; also has “How to Help” booklets to help adults assist grieving children

Bereaved Parents of the USA (BP/USA)
Telephone: 708-748-7866
Website: bereavedparentsusa.org

    Online information and support, newsletters, support group meetings, and annual gatherings for parents who have lost a child of any age, as well as support for siblings and grandparents. It’s run entirely by volunteers who have themselves lost loved ones.

SuperSibs! powered by Alex’s Lemonade Stand
Toll-free number: 1-866-333-1213
Website: www.supersibs.org

    Serves and supports 4- to 18-year-old brothers and sisters of children with cancer so they may face the future with strength, courage, and hope. Alex’s Lemonade Stand is restarting SuperSibs in 2014 so there may be some delays with resuming support services.

*Inclusion on these lists does not imply endorsement by the American Cancer Society.

No matter who you are, we can help. Contact us anytime, day or night, for information and support. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

Last Medical Review: 09/23/2014
Last Revised: 09/30/2014