Grief Resources

Are you looking for support in coping with the death of a child?

The SUDC Foundation currently supports over 1000 families in over 21 countries. It provides personalized care and cultivates a community of support for bereaved families so no one grieves alone. The SUDC Foundation provides these services at no cost to the people it serves.

In Deepest Sympathy

To utilize our services, please contact us and a staff member will reach out promptly.

"Losing a child can feel very isolating, even when you’re surrounded by people who care. Having support from people who have been there has been the most helpful part of the grieving process. With the SUDC Foundation, no matter what stage I’m going through, I never have to feel alone."
Todd and Meredith Schoenherr
SUDC Parents

What is Grief?

Grief refers to the reaction to a loss; bereavement refers to the process of recovering from the loss of a loved one. The process commonly involves dealing with a wide range of feelings, from sadness to anger to numbness. It’s important to remember that each person grieves differently. There may be similarities within grief and bereavement; however, our own unique experience of the relationship and loss and our background in terms of race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender and other variables, all play a role in how we react, respond, and handle our grief and the process of bereavement. Grief is normal.

Loss is a fact of life, however it doesn’t make our grief any less intense. Grief as a reaction to loss is normal.

Over the years, researchers and clinicians have developed a better understanding of the grief and bereavement process.

“Trauma” describes an emotional, physical, and psychological response to an extremely stressful event that overwhelms one’s ability to cope.

During the grief process it is normal to occasionally express thoughts that may initially feel alarming. Knowing when to reach out for immediate assistance is important.

Holiday Grief Resources

Coping with Triggers and Anxiety: A Breathing & Meditation Workshop

Conversations with Kelly: Coping with the Holiday Season and Grief Reminders

Books on Grief

The SUDC Foundation has compiled the below list of books that have been recommended by families who have suffered the sudden unexpected death of a child. 

Additional Resources

For Bereaved Parents/Grandparents

Speaking Grief
Speaking Grief is a public media initiative aimed at creating a more grief-aware society by validating the experience of grievers and helping to guide those who wish to support them.

Compassionate Friends
Supporting Family After a Child Dies

Mothers in Support and Sympathy (MISS Foundation)
A Community of Compassion and Hope for Grieving Families

Still Standing Magazine
A magazine for all who are grieving child loss & infertility.

Bereaved Parents of the USA
Helping grieving parents and families rebuild their lives following the death of a child.

What’s Your Grief
A blog that promotes grief education, exploration, and expression in both practical and creative ways.

Open to Hope
Helping people find hope after a loss.

Help for the Holidays
Tips for coping.

Still Mothers
How to cope with living childless after a loss.

PALS: Pregnancy After Loss
Choosing hope over fear while nurturing grief.

Grieving Dads Project
A collection of candid stories from grieving dads.

Grief Share
You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.

Care for the Family
A national charity which aims to help those facing family difficulties.

Lullaby Trust
Raises awareness and provides expert advice on safer sleep for babies.

Option B
Option B helps people build resilience and find meaning in the face of adversity.

For Infant Loss

First Candle
Committed to ending infant death and stillbirth while providing bereavement support to families who have experienced a loss.

For Baby Screening

FattyAcid Oxidation Disorders Family Support Group
All volunteer national and international support group specifically for Fatty Oxidation Disorders.

Save Babies Through Screening
A non-profit organization that advocates for comprehensive newborn screening.

Organic Acidemia Association
The world’s leading source for Organic Acidemia metabolic disorder support and information.

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Children's Grief Support Books

All God's Creatures Go To Heaven by Amy Nolfo-Wheeler. All ages.

Children Are Not Paper Dolls by Erin Linn (Ages 9-15)

Children Facing Grief by Jan Rodmond (Ages 8-16)

Dancing on the Moon by Janice Roper and Lauren Grimm (Ages infant to Preschool)

Fire in My Heart, Ice in My Veins-A Journal For Teenagers Experiencing a Loss by Enid Samuel Traisman (Ages: Young Adult)

Grieving for the Sibling You Lost: A Teen's Guide to Coping with Grief & Finding Meaning After Loss by Erica Goldblatt Hyatt (Ages: Teen)

Healing Grieving Hearts for Teens by Alan Wolfet (Ages: Young Adult)

Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities For Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies by Janis Silverman (Ages 5–teen)

Here in the Garden by Briony Stewart (Ages 5-8)

I Miss You: A First Look at Death by Pat Thomas (Ages 4-8)

I Wish I Could Hold Your Hand by Pat Palmer and Dianne O’Quinne Burke (Ages 9 –12)

I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm (Ages 4-8)

Isabella's Dream by Betsy Bottino Arenella (Ages 4-8)

Losing Someone You Love by Elizabeth Richter (Ages 7 and up)

My Brother Joey Died Today by McLendon & Messner (Ages 10-14)

Sad Isn’t Bad- A Good Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss by Michaelene Mandy and RW Alley (Ages 4-8)

Someone Came Before You by Pat Schwiebert (Preschool age)

Straight Talk About Death for Teenagers: How to Cope With Losing Someone You Love by Earl A Grollman (Teens)

The Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley (Ages 4–8)

The Fall of Freddy the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia (Ages 4–8)

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst (Ages 4-8)

The Memory Box: A Book About Grief by Joanna Rowland (Ages 4-8)

The Tenth Best Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst and Erik Blegvard (Ages 4-8)

This Book is For All Kids but Especially For My Sister Libby. Libby Died. by Jack and Annette Simon (Ages 4 –8)

To Healing Your Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas For Kids by Alan Wolfet (Ages 9-12)

Today My Sister Died by Ronee Christy Domske (Ages 10 and up)

What Do They Do All Day in Heaven? by Staci Thomas

What on Earth to Do When Someone Dies by Trevor Romain (Ages 9 - 12)

What's Heaven by Maria Shriver (Ages 5-8)

When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death (Dino Tales: Life Guides for Families) by Laurie Krasny Brown (Ages 4-8)

When Someone VERY Special Dies: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief by Marge Heegaard (to be illustrated by children) (ages 6-12)

Where’s Jess? by Joy & Marv Johnson (Ages 3-8)

Adult Grief Support Books


A Broken Heart Still Beats

This is a compilation of short (one page) writings from many authors (some famous) who have lost children. A short writing by editors Anne McCracken and Mary Semel who have lost a child prefaces each chapter. It must have over 100 writings from various authors including Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Victor Hugo, Robert Frost, Eric Clapton (Tears in Heaven) who lost a child. I would read it and cry which is what I needed to do the first year after losing Ryan.

A Time to Grieve: Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Loved One by Carol Stuadacher

A collection of truly comforting, down-to-earth thoughts and meditations including the authentic voices of survivors-for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one.

Healing a Parent’s Grieving Heart-100 Practical Ideas After a Child Dies by Alan Wolfett

Presenting simple yet highly effective methods for coping and healing, this book provides answers and relief to parents trying to deal with the loss of a child. Its offers 100 practical, action-oriented tips for embracing grief such as writing a letter to the child, spending time with others who will listen to the story of your grief, creating a memory album, box or website: and remembering others who may still be struggling with the death. The guide discusses common problems: marital stress, helping surviving siblings, dealing with hurtful advice and exploring feelings of guilt. A compassionate resource that will aid parents who have been through the death of a child whether recent or many years ago.

How Can I Help: Twelve Things to Do When Someone You Know Suffers a Loss and What Will Help Me: Twelve Things to Remember When You Have Suffered a Loss by James E Miller

We have used this book for those who wish to volunteer in our peer support program. It is a simple, well-written book. Held one way this book is for those who are grieving. It has twelve brief and easy to read chapters. It offers ideas about how to cope in healthy ways. Held another way this book is for those who are helping the bereaved. It offers twelve chapters of practical advice to help those in need of grief support.

How to Survive the Loss of a Love by Peter McWilliams, Harold Bloomfield and Melba Colgrave

Written by an author, a poet and a grief counselor, this book helps anyone walk through their grief in a page-by-page, step by step process. Very touching and easy to read. Deals with all types of loss.

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Loss of a Loved One by Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair

Very Practical. Walks you through grief step-by-step, day-by-day. The authors are bereaved parents.

Mommy, Please Don’t Cry; Tender Words For Broken Hearts by Linda DeYmaz

A book written for mothers everywhere who have experienced the deep sorrow of losing a child. The illustrations and simple language are easy to read and heartwarming.

Recovering After Loss by Bob Deits

It deals with several types of loss such as death, divorce and specific issues such as the loss of a child

Remembering with Love: Messages of Hope for the First Year of Grieving and Beyond by Elizabeth Levang and Sherokee Isle

Nice, short messages of hope. Easy to read with just 2 or 3 pages at a time. I used this as a meditation-type book when my son died.

The Mourning Handbook: The Most Comprehensive Resource Offering Practical and Compassionate Advice on Coping with All Aspects of Death and Dying by Helen Fitzgerald

From preparing for the death of a loved one to taking care of practical matters to dealing with overwhelming emotions, this most comprehensive guide to grieving based on the author’s experience as a grief counselor discusses the issues people face before during and after the death of a friend or family member. Very basic information. General help with grief definitions funeral planning, coping, etc.

The SIDS Survival Guide Information and Comfort for Grieving Family and Friends and Professionals Who Seek to Help Them by Joani Nelson Horchler and Robin Rice Morris

It was right on the mark with what I was feeling and going through

When Goodbye is Forever-Learning to Live Again After the Loss of a Child by John Bramblett

It is written by the father of a 2 year old who was run over by a truck and killed in his own driveway. It gave me a sense of support and hope when I read it after Sam died.

When Life Takes What Matters Most: Devotions to Comfort You Through Crisis and Change by Susan Lenzkes

Lenkus offers a reflective, hope-filled devotions guide for those who seek comfort in the face of loss and grief. Brief meditative devotions consider the many aspects of loss and speak compassionately to grieving hearts while offering God-centered solutions. I used this for a few weeks just to get me refocused on my faith. I was so angry with God that I needed to remind myself of what I believed before Zach died and figure out whether my faith still held true.

When The Bough Breaks, Forever After the Death of a Son or Daughter by Judith Bernstein

I seemed to have found this book more “useful than so many of the others even though much of the same information is covered. The author, who lost a son, approached the book kind of like a research project and interviewed a number of compassionate friends and families. She intersperses their comments throughout the book. I liked reading the different responses as many, but not all, echoed how I feel. I like how the book draws on the experience of other bereaved parents vs. just being a purely scholarly summary of the stages of grief.

Roses in December by Marilyn Willett Heavilin

Used for years by individuals, grief counselors, and support groups, Roses in December has helped readers understand the grieving process, support family members, give insight into sibling grief, and maintain their marriages during difficult times. This newly revised edition offers the same compassion and encouragement plus chapters on losing loved ones under special circumstances, such as suicide and AIDS.

With deep empathy, Marilyn helps those who are grieving find God’s comfort. Having lost three sons, she knows the tremendous sorrows and struggles that come with the death of loved ones. Yet she shares how even in the winters of our lives God provides roses—special occasions, special people, and special memories—to give us strength and draw close to Him.

Growing Up In Heaven by James Van Praagh

Blessed with an exceptional gift, New York Times bestselling author James Van Praagh has the ability to bridge the gap between this world and the next. Based on nearly thirty years of spirit communication, this renowned and beloved medium takes us on a powerful, eye-opening, and ultimately inspiring voyage. Filled with incredible and uplifting true stories and profound messages of love, this astounding look at heaven provides a remarkably detailed portrayal of the child's soul as it moves from this world to the next. Our eyes and hearts open and we experience firsthand the unbreakable bond between parent and child, all the while glimpsing a vision of heaven.

Van Praagh reveals the reality that love transcends the physical and material planes of this world. Growing Up in Heaven lifts our spirits with the knowledge that our departed ones will always be with us—an extraordinary gift for all of us who yearn to understand life on the other side.

Goodnight, Not Goodbye by Laura Sateriale

When Laura Sateriale discovered that her thriving, healthy daughter had passed away in her sleep, her worst nightmare became a painful reality. In the dark hours and days ahead, survival seemed impossible. Goodnight, Not Goodbye is a raw, emotional testament to a mother's love, and an honest account of SIDS / SUDC loss. Over the course of five years, Laura shares how she learned to cope with grief and the new normal she faced with her family.

How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies by Dr. Therese Rando

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye by Brook Noel and Pamela Blair

A Parent’s Guide to Raising Grieving Children by Phyllis Silverman and Madelyn Kelly

The Other Side of Sadness by George A Bonanno

It’s OK that You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn’t Understand by Megan Divine

Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birnker

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg

Resilient Grieving: Finding Strength and Embracing Life After a Loss That Changes Everything by Lucy Hone