The Bereavement Program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital was established in 1994. The following list and the sources of the choices are not comprehensive. Each life, each death, each child, and each relationship is unique. It is our hope that this information about lost and mourning is helpful to you.
Compassionate Friends: Compassionate Friends offers more than 660 meeting locations around the country. In small towns and large cities, bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents meet together to talk, listen, share, and provide each other emotional support after the devastating death of a child.
GriefShare: We are a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. Groups are starting all the time all over the Missouri, Illinois and beyond.
With Questions, please call 800.395.5755
Share: For families experiencing the loss of a newborn, including weekly support groups throughout Missouri and Illinois
National Share Office
402 Jackson Street, St. Charles, MO 63301
Cathi Lammert, RN / 636.947.6164 / 800.821.6819
Daybreak- A one day retreat for couples who have lost a child aged 29 and younger
Weavings- A one day retreat for mothers who have lost a child 29 years old or younger
Andrea Tritinger / 314.953.1676
Bereaved Parents of the USA: Support groups that offer understanding, compassion and hope, especially with newly bereaved parents, grandparents or siblings struggling to after the death of a child.
Baue Family of Services, Center for Hope and Healing, offering many classes specific to grief and loss.
Family Hospice of Belleville: Aching Arms is a support group in Belleville, IL. for parents who have lost a child of any age.
Kris Grawitch / Diana Cuddeback / 618.227.1800
St. Alexius Hospital: The “Parents of Murdered Children” group meets on the 3rd Tues. of month 7:30pm-9:30pm
3933 S. Broadway St. Louis, MO 63118
Mata Weber / 618.972.0429
SIDS Resources: For families who lose an infant to sudden death through 1 year old
Lori Behrens / 314.822.2323 / 800.421.3511
Healing Hearts Grief Support: Healing Hearts Grief Support offers grief support groups for children, teens, adults and families who have lost a loved one.
Mary Schrader / 314.810.4055
Specifically for Children
Annie’s Hope The Bereavement Center for Kids: A community based non-profit organization that provides comprehensive services to children, teens and families who are grieving the death of someone significant.
The Kids’ Clubhouse: For children and teens (4 – 18 years old) and families who are coping with the death of a loved one
Program Director, Lisa Mottola Ernst / 314.721.1144
BJC Hospice: Bereavement Camps for youth
Stepping Stones Bereavement Camp is held in August for ages 6-12 years old.
Labyrinth Bereavement Day is for teens ages 12-18.
Andrea Tritingerv / 314.953.1676 / 314.872.5050
Tools For Helping Children Grieve
PBS Sesame Workshop presents personal stories about coping with death.
- Children Die Too by Joy and Marvin Johnson
A booklet that talks about feelings, dealing with guilt, and facing sadness. There are sections for other children. Supportive reading in a few pages.
- Grieving Grandparents by Sherokee Ilse and Lori Leininger
- For Bereaved Grandparents by Margaret H. Gerner
Grieving Grandparents following miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS or infant death and For Bereaved Grandparents following a grandchild’s death are both booklets that help us understand better the pain of the loss of a grandchild and the pain of seeing your own child suffer.
- When Hello Means Goodbye by Pat Schwiebert, RN, and Paul Kirk, MD
A guide for parents whose child dies before birth, at birth, or shortly after birth. This sensitive booklet is a help to families during the early days of their grief.
- Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing after Loss by Chuck DeKlyen and Pat Schwiebert
Beautifully illustrated with a complex set of emotions and individual needs explored as the story is told. It also has a list of helpful suggestions and community resources for coping with grief at the end of the book.
- Loss: How Children and Teenagers Can Cope with Death and other kinds of Loss by Medic Publishing Company
It is a small helpful booklet that provides a good overview of how a child views death at various age levels - infant, preschool, school age, and adolescents- along with possible related behaviors, and what you can say or do.
- Help for the Hard Times Getting Through Loss by Earl Hipp
A paperback whose focus audience is teens. It is easy to read and could be a part of a teen bereavement group.
- The Empty Room by Elizabeth De Vita-Raeburn
Reviewed in the June 2008 Compassionate Friends Newsletter. This book review states that it was helpful for the reader to accept the loss of her sister as her own and to identify with repressing some of her own grief in order to support other family members as well as identifying with trying to be a more perfect child to make up for the loss that was felt within the family.
- Helping the Grieving Student: a guide for teachers: a practical guide for dealing with death in your classroom by Jacqueline Rogers
- Helping grieving children at School by Alan D. Wolfelt
Helping the Grieving Student is a book and Helping Grieving Children is an article but both are very helpful to assist school staff in understanding and reaching out to the student and that student’s fellow classmates and teachers after a death.
- Healing Your Traumatized Heart: 100 Practical Ideas after Someone You Love dies a Sudden, Violent Death by Alan Wolfelt
- Suicide of a Child: For parents whose child has completed suicide by Adina Wrobleski
Both Healing your Traumatized Heart (sudden violent death caused by accidents, homicide, and suicide) and Suicide of a Child, speaks to the special aspects of grief to know that you are a good person who has experienced a tragedy, you have rebuilding to do, and you have other people who need you and you need them.
Music (the following three selections speak of several of the emotions of grieving):
Bullens, Cindy; Artemis Records
Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth
Taylor-Good, Karen; Navarre Corporation
On Angel’s Wings
You may find it helpful to “sort out” your thoughts about your child by writing a letter to him or her or you may want to write them in a journal. Express your thoughts and feelings about:
A special memory that I have about you.
What I miss the most about you and our relationship.
What I wish I’d said or hadn’t said.
What I wish we’d done or hadn’t done.
What I’ve had the hardest time dealing with.
Ways in which you continue to live on in me.
Special ways I have for keeping my memories of you alive.
Choose one or several ideas that are important to you or start at the top of the list and work your way down. These topics may serve to help you come up with your own ideas specific to your situation and relationship.
*Copied by permission, Mary Ann Harter Janson, Self-Help Correspondence for the Bereaved, “A Manual for Bereavement Support Programs,” Grand Junction, CO 1983.