The loss of a child can be one of the most difficult times in a family's life.
Bereavement is a complex state, one in which many people find that they may need emotional, practical and/or financial support. Everyone may cope differently, for example some people may withdraw from their friends and family while others may rely on outside support available to them. It's important to recognise that there is no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a child.
The Childhood Cancer Association has a variety of services available to families to assist them to cope with the loss of their loved one.
The loss of a child can leave families in need of financial assistance, particularly with regards to the unexpected costs of a funeral. We are able offer some financial assistance to help with the cost of your child’s funeral. For more information about this please speak with the Family Service Team or your WCH Social Worker.
Grief Counselling - adults
Whether it comes from relatives, friends or a trained professional, most bereaved people need emotional support following the death of a loved one. Very often bereavement counselling is recommended. Counselling provides a safe and confidential space to explore each individual’s unique and personal response to grief. Individuals are able to explore and describe their thoughts and feelings while learning to cope with the stressors associated with the loss and to manage some of the symptoms that may come with grieving (e.g. sleep disturbances, stress, anger etc.). It may also provide the individual with strategies on how to maintain healthy connections with the deceased.
Grief and loss counselling is available to those adults who were involved in the direct care of the child who died, including parents, caregivers, grandparents.
For further information please refer to our Counselling page.
Grief Counselling – children
Depending on their age, children are usually not able to verbalise their grief as an adult would, and their understanding of loss and grief are usually not as sophisticated, this, however, does not mean that children do not experience grief. Instead, watching children's actions can often reveal a great deal about their emotions. Some children may become destructive, others may become withdrawn. Changes in sleep patterns, eating habits or concentration/work levels can also be signs of grief. Grieving children may also be more/less emotional than usual, want to talk/not talk about the deceased or continue on as if nothing has happened.
Though they may not show it in the same way, children may grieve just as intensely as adults when they suffer the loss of their brother or sister. There are ways that adults can help children cope with grief, and counselling for children may be an option.
For further information please refer to our Counselling page.
Bradley's Place, CCA's respite accommodation, continues to be available to families who have lost a child to cancer, providing an important space for the family to take time out and be together. Some families find it beneficial to stay at the accommodation during and around important dates and anniversaries/memorials.
For further information please refer to the Accommodation page.
**Please note - some conditions do apply.
CCA has a range of support groups available to families to assist them with the grieving process.
Bereaved Parents Support Group
The death of a child can be one of the most challenging life experiences a parent has to face. Particular challenges may include adapting to life without their child, reintegration into the community (e.g. recommencing work) and continuing to care for other children and assisting them with their grief.
Parents report that it can sometimes be difficult to discuss how they are feeling about/coping with the loss of their child with their family and other people from their broader social networks.
The Bereaved Parents Support Group recognises that it can be beneficial to connect with other adults who have faced a similar situation. Parents meet throughout the year with others who understand and share the grief of losing their own child through cancer, to connect, share stories and to explore feelings around their loss. The support group is facilitated by the Family Service Counsellors and run several times throughout the year. The group may also meet in a variety of different ways, for example: special events may include, Christmas functions, memory days or special forums if families would like specific topics addressed.
For further information about the Bereaved Parents Support Group please contact the Family Service Team on (08) 8239 2211.
Bereaved Grandparents Group
When a grandparent loses a grandchild to cancer they are faced with the unique situation of not only coping with their own grief, but also with supporting and assisting their child and other family members. Their role is often unique in that they often provide important support in many areas of family life.
The Bereaved Grandparents group is designed for grandparents who have experienced the death of a grandchild from cancer, enabling them to share and explore their feelings of grief. This is an informal group facilitated by the Family Service Counsellors. The group meets bi-monthly, for a morning tea held at the CCA office and occasionally at alternative locations around Adelaide for special outings, i.e. a Christmas luncheon.
For further information about the Bereaved Grandparents program please contact the Family Service Team on (08) 8239 2211.
Special Families Day
This is an event for all family members (e.g. parents/caregivers, siblings, grandparents and others involved in the direct care of the child) to get together and spend a fun day out together while also celebrating the life of the child who has passed. The day includes fun and memory making activities, lunch and a special balloon release to remember the children who have died.
For further information about Special Families Day please contact the Family Service Team on (08) 8239 2211.
Other Special Events
Throughout the year we are also very fortunate that through the generosity of our many supporters, we sometimes receive complimentary tickets for families to attend events, concerts and sporting matches in Adelaide. We endeavour to distribute any tickets in a fair manner based on the needs of our families at that particular time.
If you or your family require assistance please contact us today!
Contact Childhood Cancer Association
» Contact us via email
» Or phone us on (08) 8239 1444
Help us make a difference today!
The Childhood Cancer Association is a fully self-funded organisation and therefore relies on the generous support of the community.
Childhood cancer presents many challenges for the child and their family. It affects not only the child but their brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents, friends and the whole community.
The Childhood Cancer Association provides support to the entire family.
Please help us make the cancer journey easier for these families!