When a Child Dies - FREE Guide

July 4, 2022

When a Child Dies - FREE Guide to support grieving families

The Funeral Service Foundation, in partnership with the Collaborative of National Pediatric Palliative Care Coalitions, created a resource entitled When a Child Dies: Planning Acts of Love & Legacy for bereaved families. The booklet offers guidance and inspiration to help these families who experience the death of their child say goodbye in a way that is meaningful and important to their path forward.

Research for the booklet began in 2018 with a multi-year grant to the Collaborative of National Pediatric Palliative Care Coalitions. “We recognized a need in the grief space to help families plan a meaningful and healing goodbye when a child dies, which led us to apply for funding from the Funeral Service Foundation,” said Kristin James and Betsy Hawley, executive directors of the Greater Illinois Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition and the Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition, respectively. “Our work with the Funeral Service Foundation over the last five years has culminated in a resource that will help families understand that they are not alone as they begin to face a world in which their child is no longer living.”

The resource offers guidance for families, including why funerals and memorialization are important steps in moving forward; entrusting their child’s body to the care of a funeral director; what to expect when meeting with a funeral director; determining a final resting place; connecting with family and community; talking to children about death and dying; and preparing families for funeral attendance. The guide also offers memorialization ideas from bereaved parents, and those who walk alongside grieving families, and gives suggestions for building acts of legacy and love in the days, weeks, months, and years after a child’s funeral.


  • All resources are available through the Foundation’s user-friendly resource store, which is sponsored by Batesville. Those interested simply pay shipping. An e-book version is also available online


Since 1945, the Funeral Service Foundation has served as the philanthropic voice of the funeral profession and has been identified as the charitable arm of the National Funeral Directors Association since 1997. Donors and volunteer leaders profession-wide support the Foundation in its mission of investing in people and programs to strengthen funeral service and lift up grieving communities

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FIAT-IFTA is the only internationally governed funeral Federation with National, Active And Associate Members in more than 80 countries.

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