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Our child's friends

When our child dies it can be especially hard for their friends to find a way of sharing their grief with the family. Although we are all mourning the same person, we will have known them in a different context.

Depending on the age at which our child died, there could be playmates, school or college friends, boyfriends, girlfriends or work colleagues. Sometimes we don’t know these friends until after the death of our child, but these new relationships can be full of love, warmth and enrichment; a precious link with the person we have lost.

TCF’s leaflet Our Children’s Friends looks at relationships with our children’s friends at various ages and covers issues such as families who have lost a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death; how to help young children understand that their friend has died; including friends of your child’s siblings; teenage friendships; and adult children who have left home or may even live in a different country and whose friends are unknown to us. These friends can be a blessing as they help us to know our child better.

Many TCF members have written about the warmth and love they experienced from their children’s friends in the early days of their bereavement. In the long term some of these friends may move on and we may find this difficult. Where contact is maintained there may be both joy and pain in seeing our children’s friends living their lives. However, these relationships can enrich our lives, deepen our awareness of our lost child, and be a source of strength and comfort in the loss that we all share.

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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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