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Grieving for a pre-teen or teenage child (11-18 years)

Being a parent brings both challenges and joy. Our children are continuously entering new chapters in their lives: from days spent in the family home onto playgroups and school, making their first childhood friendships. By the time a child reaches their teenage years, they have moved into a more complex phase of growing up.

Heartbreakingly, for some of us, our hopes and dreams for our child are then shattered. The death of a pre-teen or teenage child brings unspeakable sadness, devastation, shock and loneliness, regardless of the cause or whether it was sudden and unexpected, or anticipated due to illness. It is not easy to adjust to life without our beloved child, and it will take us time to find our way.

TCF publish a supportive leaflet for parents - Grieving for Our Pre-teen or Teenage Child, covering topics such as

  • parenting a teenage child
  • the tumult of our grief
  • the circumstances of our child's death
  • if we have other children
  • our child's belongings and personal space
  • our child's digital footprints
  • our child's school or college
  • our child's friends
  • taking care of ourselves
  • adjusting to life without our child's presence
  • the way forward

We might find connecting and sharing with others at our local support groups, online groups and in-person retreats and gatherings helpful. Our private groups on Facebook are another way to connect with other bereaved parents.

TCF publish other leaflets which might be helpful, including Grief of the Newly Bereaved, Living With Grief, Our Surviving Children, Our Child's Friends. We also publish a leaflet for schools and colleges - When a Pupil or Student Dies

Support our work

Each year thousands of parents suffer the loss of a son or a daughter. Please help us to support families in their time of greatest need.

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