​​​The death of an adult child is an overwhelming experience to parents. Parents are never fully prepared to have their child die before them. The grief is intense and complex.

When an adult child dies, the parent’s grief is often disenfranchised or discounted. Others may assume that if the child was an adult, the grief is less. If the death was sudden or from an illness, parents are told they should be grateful that the child lived as long as he or she did.

Adult children often become friends with their parents and so when an adult child dies, the parent also has lost a friend.

When parents are caring for their adult children who have a physical or mental illness, caregiving may become the central focus of their lives. When the child dies, the parents also mourn the loss of this role.

What you can do:

  • Be gentle with yourself.
  • Share your feelings – with family, friends, your faith community.
  • Journal
  • Do something to honor the memory of your adult child – this can be private and personal or more public.
  • Join a support group.
  • Seek professional help.
Please remember that we are here with comfort, hope and healing.