It's hard for a young child to fully understand what has happened with the sudden loss of a loved one. Emotions take over and they don't know how to react. The way they perceive death itself changes as they get older. At a very young age, it may seem as nothing has really happened at all. But when it does, you need to be there for your child. He will need your support and support of others, too.

It's important to develope a network of support. Support networks help all ages get through any crisis. Yours can be one (or more) many forms: church families; peers; and grief counseling services. Alive Hospice is one of such places. They offer several grief support groups with meetings held monthly. A few of them include:

Little Hearts Club

On the first and third Fridays of every month from 10 - 11:15 a.m., ages 3 - 6 and their caregiver(s) get an opportunity to explore their experience of losing someone close to them. Explore grief with playful and creative activities, sharing circles and storytelling. Adults also visit together to share strategies for grieving while parenting.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Group

On the first Thursday of each month from 6 - 7:30 p.m., adults who share in the experience of grief following the loss of a child during pregnancy through age two gather together to find support.

Family Group

On the third Thursday of each month from 6 - 7:30 p.m., ages 5 - 17 and their adult caregiver(s) who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or extended family member gather together. Group begins with a shared meal and large-group activity or fame that fosters a fun, supportive environment. Afterward, get together in smaller groups for discussion and explore your loss in an age-appropriate setting. Family group meets once a month, and a family may attend for up to 12 months.  

Alive Hospice is located at 1897 General George Patton Drive, Ste. 116, Franklin. For additional information or to register, e-mail griefsupport@alivehospice.org or call 615-963-4732.