Navigating the Loss of a Child

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 12,000 children in the United States die each year. The CDC uses children to identify Individuals between the ages of zero and 19, including infants, toddlers, children, and young adults.


Coping with a loss is never easy, but people face specific challenges when they deal with the loss of a child. You may struggle to cope with family members and practical matters after their death. Turning to professionals can help you navigate your loss, process your grief, and handle legal or medical matters following your child’s death.

Seek counseling from mental health professionals.

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You may struggle to make plans for the future or handle practical matters after your child dies. You may also be affected by guilt and anger. Coping with the loss of a child is incredibly complicated because parents shouldn’t outlive their children. Whether your child had a health problem that led to their death, was the victim of medical malpractice, or died in an accident, you may blame yourself or other family members. This can take a toll on your mental health and your relationships with others. Talking to a grief counselor can help you process your feelings and identify unhealthy behavioral patterns you’re following.

If you have another adolescent child in your family, you must consider their needs. They might be worried about their physical health if they lost a sibling to cancer or another medical condition. Young people may engage in risky behaviors to cope with a loss. They may also be struggling with mental health issues, such as depression. Implement essential health checks for teens. A psychiatrist or therapist may be able to identify reasons for concern if your teen is having a difficult time struggling with their mental health. You can also opt to pursue family counseling to help your family members work through issues together.

Funeral arrangers can help you plan a funeral service.

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People who lose a child may not have made final arrangements. Once your child passes, you face decisions about whether to have a traditional burial and what type of service to hold. This can be an emotional process.

Funeral arrangements can explain your options to help you make appropriate choices. You can take the time you need to learn about cremations. Cremation companies will transport the body and get copies of the death certificate. They can also help you file for benefits from your insurance company. You’ll receive guidance and assistance from experienced professionals who can help you navigate these steps and help you connect with any other service providers you need.

Funeral arrangers can also help you choose music, make programs, and prepare an obituary. They can also help you choose a casket and headstone if you opt for a traditional burial.

You can hire an attorney to address legal issues.

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An attorney can address legal issues stemming from your child’s death. You may opt to hire a medical malpractice attorney if negligence from medical professionals contributed to or caused your child’s death. When healthcare providers fail to provide appropriate care, you can sue them for negligence. A lawsuit can help you recoup costs associated with your child’s death. Expensive lawsuits can also prompt medical institutions to take measures to prevent further negligence.

You may also need to hire an attorney if your child died in a car accident or if your insurance company denies claims stemming from your child’s death. Your attorney will ensure you aren’t taken advantage of during your time of grief.

You can create a legacy for your child.

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There are many ways you can ensure your child’s memory lives on after they pass. One way is to create a scholarship in their name. You can set aside money to help other young people fulfill their dreams of attending college. You can also create a charity fundraiser to help others or donate to a local service your child enjoyed, such as your town library or a community dog park. Administrators from your child’s high school or the college of your choice can help you establish a scholarship.

Losing a child is one of the most challenging experiences a person can face during their lifetime. Mental health professionals, funeral arrangements, attorneys, and administrators can help you navigate your loss and address your emotional and practical needs during this difficult time.

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