The death of a child is one of the most difficult times in anyone's life and we know it is important for a family to have both pre- and post-bereavement support.
How can you help me?
We’re here for you, whether you need emotional support or advice on practical matters that need doing, such as registering your child’s death and helping to arrange their funeral. Before death, we can support parents, brothers and sisters as well as the wider family and friends, offering ways to understand and come to terms with what is happening. When a child dies, we can be there for you and your family for as long as you need us, helping you to reflect and share memories.
Can my child die at Keech Hospice Care?
Yes, and we will be there to offer the best care and support for your child and your family. We will do everything we can to
ensure the final days are as peaceful and pain free as possible.
We have a special bedroom called the Meadow Suite at the hospice, where your child can stay after their death right up
until their funeral, if you wish for them to. The Meadow Suite
is a place where your family and friends can spend time with
your child. It is available to anyone, if their child dies at home,
at hospital or the hospice.
I want my child to die at home, can you help?
Yes, of course. Whether you choose to spend those final, special days with your child at the hospice or at home, we can be there and we will support you. Our community care team is on hand, day and night, with 24-hour advice and support. We will continue to support you, your family and friends after death, too.
How long will you help us for?
We will support you, your family and friends for as long as you need us. Over the months or years ahead, our supportive care team will be there at the other end of the phone, and will come and see you in your home, too, if you need us.
Is there support for brothers and sisters?
Yes, there’s Sparklers. This is a pre- and post-bereavement support group for children aged 5 to 18 years old. Sparklers runs every month on a Saturday and is a great way of using fun and play to help explore feelings and share stories.
Our family support workers offer pre- and post-bereavement one-to-one emotional support to children and young people. This can be given at the hospice, at home or at school.
Inevitably, healthy brothers and sisters can feel left out as their parents focus on the life-limited child. They may experience feelings of guilt, anxiety or neglect and it is important that they have access to specialised support to help them address these feelings.
Are there any support groups for parents?
There is Parents Supporting Parents, which is for mums and dads who have a child who is cared for by us. Parents get a lot from the group and from meeting others who are going through the same as they are. The group meets at Haywood House in Luton from 11am to 2pm, on the last Saturday of the month.
Dads Cry Too (DC2) is a monthly pre- and post-bereavement support group for fathers of children known to Keech Hospice Care. Dads are encouraged - in a friendly, safe, secure and trusting environment - to listen, share and discuss experiences and feelings with other dads who have also lost a child, or have a child with a life-limiting illness. DC2 currently meets on the second Monday of the month, 7-9pm, at Keech or a nearby venue.
There is also one-to-one support for those who prefer to talk to one person. Our family support worker and bereavement visitors (volunteers trained to support people affected by death) can see people individually, in a mutually agreed place – including at home - and at a convenient time. One-to-one support is also offered to children and young adults.
Do you hold remembrance events?
Yes, we have two remembrance events during the year.
Daffodil Sunday is a family service held in September and Light Up a Life is a special service which is open to anyone and held at the hospice in December. You can dedicate a light on our hospice tree in memory of your loved one and the tree is lit for the first time at the service.
Today, more and more families are expressing their feelings and memories about the life of their child online. We work with memorial web charity MuchLoved to help you create a dedicated tribute site on the internet.