The loss of a child is one of life’s most traumatic events. For those left behind, whether it be a single parent, a married couple, siblings, grandparents or friends of the family, the grieving process is a difficult, unanticipated journey. Grief does not discriminate and it does not follow a set pattern for each person.
While leading causes of infant death in the first year include birth defects, premature birth/low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), knowing the reason for a child’s death rarely provides a grieving family with the comprehensive comfort they need.
We know that bereaved families long for others to acknowledge the importance and life of their child no matter how old the baby was at birth and regardless of how long the baby lived. Having a strong support network where feelings can be shared in a safe and open manner is paramount to the grief process. Sharing memories, hopes, dreams and disappointments is an important part of the grieving and healing process.
We encourage those who are grieving the loss of a child to seek out others who understand the emotions you are feeling and we would like to recommend some organizations that may be able to provide you with the tools you need to face the difficult days ahead. This is in no way a comprehensive listing, but it is a place for bereaved families and friends to start.
A safe place for bereaved parents to share stories with others and find resources on the internet.
Grieving Dads www.grievingdads.com
Designed to reach out to all bereaved dads and to provide a conduit to share their stories, bring awareness to the impact that child loss has on fathers and to let society know that it’s okay for a father to grieve the loss of a child.
Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death (M.E.N.D.) www.mend.org
M.E.N.D. is a Christian, non-profit organization that reaches out to families who have suffered the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death.
NICU Helping Hands www.nicuhelpinghands.org
Provides peer mentors to bereaved parents through their One-on-One Mentoring program.
Still Standing Magazine www.stillstandingmag.org
Online magazine for bereaved parents and those suffering from infertility.
Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation www.zoerose.org
The Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation provides emotional support, educational resources and awareness focused events, which inspire hope in parents of preemies while in the NICU and post-discharge, and for those who have suffered pregnancy or infant loss.
Skyler’s Gift Foundation www.skylersgift.org
Provides financial assistance for mortuary and burial costs, grief counseling for the family (including siblings), support groups and educational materials for families and the public.
Angel Names Association www.angelnames.org
Dedicated to assisting families of stillborn children through programs designed to provide financial assistance for end-of-life expenses and counseling services, and funding for stillbirth research.
A nonprofit committed to bringing friends and family together through the internet during any form of health journey.
Centering Corporations and Grief Digest Magazine www.centering.org
Provides education and resources for the bereaved.
First Candle www.firstcandle.org
Dedicated to safe pregnancies and the survival of babies through the first years of life and provide compassionate grief support through a dedicated crisis hotline to all those affected by the death.
Memory Jar www.memoryjar.org
A unique and free resource devoted to helping you memorialize and remember your loved one.
Miscarriage Matters, Inc. www.mymiscarriagematters.com
Provides support to the survivors of miscarriage, stillbirth and early infant loss while increasing awareness to these heartbreaking issues.
Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Inc. www.nationalshare.org
Serves those who have experienced the death of a baby due to early pregnancy loss or stillbirth, or in the first few months of life.
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org
Provides the gift of remembrance photography for parents suffering the loss of a baby.
The WARM Place www.thewarmplace.org
Provides grief support for children ages 3 ½ - 18 as well as young adults 19 –25 and their families who have experienced the death of a loved one.