When a child dies it feels unnatural – the loss of opportunity, the dreams dashed. Parents shouldn’t outlive their children and surviving parents can often suffer not just loss and grief but also guilt that they survived.
Friends and family may rally round but may struggle to know what to say and it's easy to become isolated. And if there are other children in the family, then they will be trying to cope with their own emotions at a time when their parents may feel unable to give them the support they need.
Relationships with loved ones can become strained and life may feel pointless. As time passes people may stop talking about the death, but for the family the grief goes on and all too often silently and unspoken.
There is help available whether it's with the practical things like funerals, supporting children or ongoing support so that slowly lives can be rebuilt.
Child Bereavement UK has a range of guides and materials that can help along with support groups and advice. And their telephone helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, offering confidential support and guidance from trained counsellors on 0800 02 888 40.