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Bereavement Program

What to Say & How to Say It

It is important to talk honestly with children about the potential death of a family member or friend. To help you do this - we’ve created a grief and bereavment guide for parents. It offers guidelines for helping children cope with death by age.

COVID-19 Hospitalization Education

We've also created several new pieces that speak to helping children when a loved one, parent, or grandparent is hospitalized or diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Why Can't I Visit? - Explaining why Erlanger has a new rule to limit the amount of people that can come into the hospital
  • Talking about COVID-19 - How to include children in difficult conversations to reduce stress and increase coping
  • When Symptoms Worsen - Tips for communicating with children when a hospitalized loved one's symptoms do not improve

Support Groups

The Compassionate Friends of Chattanooga

When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. Compassionate Friends provides comfort, hope and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild. It's mission is also to help others better assist the grieving family.

Perinatal and Neonatal Bereavement

The Perinatal and Neonatal Bereavement Program sponsored by Children's Hospital is available 24/7. To learn more, call our Bereavement Coordinator at 423-778-5149.

Healing Hearts Family Night / Support Programs

This is an excellent support group for children five and up offered by Hospice of Chattanooga. Anyone can attend their events for free. For more days, times, and more information, visit the Hospice website, or call 423-805-7112. Hospice offers many other programs to help adults and children deal with grief.

National Resources

  • The Dougy Center provides a safe place for children, teens, young adults and their families who are grieving a death to share their experiences. This is done through peer support groups, education, and training.     
  • Open to Hope Foundation is a non-profit foundation with the mission of helping people find hope after loss. We invite you to read, listen and share your stories of hope and compassion.
  • Sesame Street in Communities knows the death of a loved one brings enormous challenges. They are helping kids cope with death and supporting them along their journey. They have great activities and videos for children to help explain loss.