There is no pain like that of losing a child. The staff of the Children’s Hospital at Providence offer our sincere condolences to you and your family. This poem from Dr. Ruth Hitchcock best expresses our feelings:
I can’t say anything that will make things better,
but I can be there with you and share your anger,
the pain, and the bewilderment.
Most of all, I can let you know that I care
and that I won’t abandon you.
Through the Bereavement Council at the Children’s Hospital at Providence, we are here to support you during this difficult time. The Bereavement Council is an integrated program made up of caregivers from a variety of disciplines. You can turn to us for resources that may help you and your family find peace as you grieve the loss of your precious child.
Please reach out to us at 907-212-3344. We are always here to offer comfort and support.
The Bereavement Council can connect you to grief support groups in the Anchorage area and throughout Alaska. When you’re ready, and if you’re interested, we can help you find an appropriate support group near you.
A support group can give you comfort, as you connect with others who have also lost a child. When you meet others with a shared experience, you may find relief knowing that you’re not alone in your grief.
Providence Hospice offers grief support groups based on the book Understanding Your Grief by Alan Wolfelt. Facilitated by grief counselors, these open-format groups offer a safe space for sharing stories and bonding with others who have experienced the death of a loved one. Groups last seven weeks and are offered several times per year. For more information: 907-212-4400.
Hospice of Anchorage offers grief groups based on the book Bearing the Unbearable by Joan Cacciatore. Groups last six weeks and are offered several times throughout the year. For more information: 907-561-5322 or hospiceofanchorage.org
Support groups for children, teens, and families who are grieving the death of loved ones. Peer-driven grief support groups are offered twice monthly with all participants divided into groups based on age and developmental stage. For more information griefcenterak.com
An open discussion group, sponsored by The TEARS Foundation and the Center for Child Loss. The group meets on the third Wednesday of each month, and any bereaved parent is welcome, including those who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth. The group meets on the third Wednesday of each month, and any bereaved parent is welcome. For more information: thetearsfoundation.org or contact Kim Hatt: 907-529-4289.
Survivors of Suicide groups, led by Alaska Police and Fire Chaplains’ Ministries, are designed to support the family and friends of those who have died by suicide, helping them to find relief and understanding, to integrate this loss into their life, and to move forward. Meets the first Tuesday of each month. For more information call 907-272-3100.
Mat-Su Grief Support is for anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one. It is a place for listening and sharing coping strategies for working through grief. This free, confidential group meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church. For more information, visit matsugriefsupport.com or call Karl and Joyce: 907-373-0842.
An open discussion group, sponsored by The TEARS Foundation and the Center for Child Loss. The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month, and any bereaved parent is welcome, including those who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth. For more information visit thetearsfoundation.org or call Kim Hatt: 907-529-4289.
Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Hospice Services offers support groups for those grieving the death of a loved one, including groups specifically for men or for women, and groups utilizing the Grief Recovery Method. For more information, or to determine which group would be right for you, call 907-458-3095.
Peninsula Community Health Services sponsors support groups in Soldotna using the Grief Recovery Method. For more information, call Gail Kennedy at 907-602-9944.
Hospice of the Central Peninsula offers grief support groups and bereavement services in Soldotna for community members in need of such support, including Camp Mend-A-Heart for children ages 6 to 16. For more information: www.hospiceofsoldotna.com or 907-262-0453.
Bartlett Regional Hospital offers a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group on the last Wednesday of each month. This is a safe space to share and listen, to connect and learn from one another. For more information: bartletthospital.org/calendar
Hospice and Home Care of Juneau provides bereavement support to individuals, families, and communities, including one-on-one grief counseling and periodic support groups. Groups are open to anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one. For more information: ccsjuneau.org or 907-463-6110.
Hospice of Haines offers a series of grief groups each fall, as well as monthly meetings throughout the year. They also provide one-on-one support and grief companions, including support for bereaved children and teens. For more information: hospiceofhaines.org or 907-766-3645.
Ketchikan Volunteer Hospice offers community bereavement services, including one-on-one peer support, as well as eight-week closed groups scheduled periodically each year. For more information, or to find out when the next group begins, call 907-228-7600.
GriefShare groups meet weekly at Christian churches throughout Alaska. Locations include Anchorage, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Ketchikan, Palmer, Sleetmute, and Wasilla. GriefShare is a Christ-centered grief support ministry designed to facilitate connection, recovery, and rebuilding after loss. For more information: www.griefshare.org.
* Note: Many groups are meeting virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic. Please contact your preferred group for current details.
The internet can also be a good place to seek solace when you’re grieving. We recommend the following online resources:
Bereaved Families of Ontario
A Canadian-based site, it provides support for people who have lost an immediate family member, including an infant. Monthly articles, newsletters and a resource guide are available.
Bereaved Parents of the USA
Bereaved Parents is a nationwide organization designed to aid and support bereaved parents and their families.
Centering and Grief Digest Magazine
A nonprofit organization providing supportive grief literature on all aspects of loss.
The Compassionate Friends
A national parent-to-parent support group. The mission of The Compassionate Friends is to assist families in the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child and to provide information to help others be supportive.
A site providing information, support and forums for women and their partners who have experienced the loss of a baby.
First Candle is a national nonprofit committed to the elimination of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and stillbirth through education, advocacy and research while providing compassionate support to bereaved families.
HAND: Helping After Neonatal Death
HAND is a nonprofit volunteer group founded in the early 1980s to provide support and information to bereaved parents, their families and friends following a miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death.
Hannah's Prayer Ministries
Hannah's Prayer Ministries desires to provide Christian-based support and encouragement to couples around the world who are struggling with the pain of fertility challenges, including infertility, pregnancy loss and early infant death.
The mission of the MISS Foundation is to allow a safe haven for parents to share their grief after the death of a child. The MISS Foundation provides support to parents enduring the tragedy of stillbirth, neonatal death and infant death from any cause, including SIDS, congenital anomalies or trisomy 13. Grief education for parents and professionals is the main focus.
M.E.N.D.: Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death
M.E.N.D. is a Christian nonprofit corporation with a purpose to reach out to those who have lost a child due to miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death and offer a way to share experiences and information through meetings, a bi-monthly newsletter and a website.
This site has information, education and support tools regarding SIDS.
SPALS: Subsequent Pregnancy After a Loss Support
SPALS is a group of people who have experienced the loss of a child due to miscarriage, elective termination, stillbirth, neonatal death, sudden infant death or accidental death.
SOFT: Support Organization for Trisomy 18, 13 and Related Disorders
SOFT provides support to families with a child born with a trisomy chromosome disorder. This organization published a regular newsletter, provides information on the care their children may need and offers support when their child dies.