New free, online tool helps caregivers support children in times of grief

When someone important to a child is dying or has died, families struggle with what to tell children, when to share information and how to address tough subjects like should children be at the bedside of someone who is dying and cremation.

To mark the First Annual National Bereavement Day in Canada, a new national initiative by the Canadian Virtual Hospice with funding from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority and Hope & Cope was launched to help parents, guardians and caregivers with a difficult challenge: talking with children about dying and death. KidsGrief.ca is a free, bilingual online resource that addresses these and other topics in a straightforward, practical way providing strategies, talking points and video clips of families sharing personal stories.

KidsGrief.ca consist of three learning modules written by grief experts. People can easily navigate the modules to find the information they need. Topics include: words, phrases and concepts to use and what to avoid; responding to difficult concepts such as suicide, medical assistance in dying and cremation; preparing children for funerals, and other ceremonies; “teachable moments” including pet death and talking about tragic world events; and how to support grieving children.

Parents and caregivers often turn to health providers and educators for help in these situations. Now they have an accessible resource to which to refer parents.

KidsGrief.ca builds on MyGrief.ca, an online resource for grieving adults launched by the Canadian Virtual Hospice in 2016, with funding by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. For more information, email: Marissa@virtualhospice.ca