How to care for someone following the loss of a child

How to care for someone following the loss of a child

The loss of a child profoundly impacts the lives of parents and their loved ones.  When someone you care about has lost a child, it can be hard to know how best to support them. Each person’s grief experience is unique, and finding the right words can be hard.  Often, we worry about saying the wrong thing or upsetting the person which can lead to us not saying anything at all or becoming distant from them.

Below are some ideas on how best to support someone who has been through the devastating loss of a child.

Here at The Retreat Clinics, we offer specialist support for bereavement, and for those who are supporting someone who is bereaved and want a space to talk and process their emotions. We offer open-ended, non-judgemental support at our clinics in Manchester, York and Online.

For more information on how we could help, please visit or email

Mother’s Day

Sunday 19th March, we express our gratitude and love for our mother and motherly figures today. We normally find ourselves buying flowers or self-care gifts to suggest today is a day for relaxation. The love of a mother for their child is unconditional, we are nurtured by our mothers as an expression of this unconditional love.

We spend today returning that unconditional love by nurturing our mothers to express our admiration. Although mother’s day is not a  joyous day for mothers who have experienced the loss of their child.

The mass of happy celebrations on mother’s day all over the country reminds bereaving mothers of this loss. Losing a child is never easy, when grief cycles back around on this day it gets messy. The connection between mother and child seems tethered although this is not the case as they are still bound by this unconditional love. Grief is complex and not black and white, mindful.

Grief on mother’s day also surfaces for those who have lost a parent, You may feel anger, sadness and isolation. It is normal for you to re-experience all of these emotions but there are ways to help manage this. Planning and taking action for mother’s day can help you keep a structure for when you are feeling low. Reflecting on your grief. As mother’s day is a yearly reoccurrence reflection becomes a significant part of your day.

Being compassionate and patient with yourself is important, as understanding that your emotions are valid. It can be helpful to talk about and share your feelings with a close friend, family member or counsellor. Tell them what you need, whether it is a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, or just company around you.

Remember that every grieving process is unique, you cannot compare how you deal with your loss or how others might be coping. The experience of grief can manifest in a variety of emotions, feelings and reactions. Intense feelings may not always be there but can appear unexpectedly throughout the grieving process.